Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp have agreed to follow the “voluntary code of ethics” in all future elections, including the upcoming Maharashtra and Haryana assembly polls, the Election Commission said on September 26.
The code, which was derived to act against paid advertisements that violate norms set by the Election Commission, came into force on March 20 in the last Lok Sabha polls.
“Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) on behalf of its members has agreed to observe the voluntary code of ethics during all future elections, including the ongoing general elections to the Haryana and Maharashtra legislative assemblies and various by-elections being held simultaneously,” the poll panel said in a statement.
During the last Lok Sabha polls, social media platforms took action on 909 violative cases reported by the EC.
According to the code, no political campaign will be allowed to be run on social media platforms in the last 48 hours before polling ends. This period is referred to as “silence period” to allow voters take a considered decision without the heat and dust of campaign on whom to vote.
The code also facilitates transparency in paid political advertisements.
This was the for the first time internet-based companies voluntarily adopted the norms for online poll campaign.