Delhi’s Election Commission on Monday admitted that there was a loophole in monitoring of social media and said a strong mechanism was needed to deal with such communication which was at present virtually “impossible” to keep track of.
“It is difficult to handle social media particularly when Election Commission, so far, has issued orders only for tackling the online accounts of candidates and political parties and hence there is a big loophole,” Chief Electoral Officer Vijay Dev said.
“Any citizen on behalf of these political parties or candidates can come out with anything on Facebook, Twitter or other social networking sites to influence people and we cannot have any control over that,” said Mr. Dev, adding that a strong mechanism needed to be in place to tackle the issue.
So far as candidates and political parties are concerned, the election authorities are taking their social media account numbers and ensuring that whatever contents they post, expenditure of that is put in the shadow registers, and also they have to get it pre-certified before hosting, he said.
On the issue of sting operations carried out by media outlets which have been brought to its notice, Mr. Dev said, “We play the role of an umpire. We do not investigate anything, on behalf of anybody. It is for them to take legal action on their own.”
He added that matter of sting operation on AAP leaders is with the Election Commission.
The EC is hopeful of a record voter turnout this time as he said, they carried out “targeted interventions“.
“We have gone about the whole thing in a systematic and scientific matter and analysed low voter turnout in Delhi which has remained at 55 per cent to 60 per cent,” he said.