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Govt plans social media checks 48 hrs before voting

February 15, 2019 05:25 AM

COURTESY HT FEB 15

Rajeev Jayaswal and Smriti Kak Ramachandran letters@hindustantimes.com ■
Govt plans social media checks 48 hrs before voting
strict enforcement of section 126 of the Representation of the People Act on social media is not easy because of the global nature of their users A GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL

NEW DELHI: The government is working on a strategy to enforce campaign silence on social media 48 hours before polls, as suggested by a parliamentary panel, government officials familiar with the matter said. The embargo, already followed by print and TV media, will likely be implemented on social networks during the summer’s Lok Sabha elections.

The ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) is considering several options, including regulation through local internet service providers (ISP) and voluntary compliance by social media platforms, the two officials with direct knowledge of the matter said on condition of anonymity.

“Unlike print media and television channels, strict enforcement of section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, on social media is not easy because of the global nature of their users,” one of the officials said. “Besides, their servers are located overseas, beyond the legal jurisdiction of India,” the official added.

Most of the social media platforms have been accused of allowing democratic processes to be subverted, an official said

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