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Karnataka polls: Facebook to continue as EC’s social media partner, says CEC

Rawat pointed out that the utilisation of social media cannot be stopped due to instances of “aberrations”.

Edited by: India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: March 27, 2018 17:50 IST ]

CEC OP Rawat

Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat today said that social networking site Facebook will continue as the poll panel’s social media partner during the Karnataka assembly elections. 

Rawat pointed out that the utilisation of social media cannot be stopped due to instances of “aberrations”, adding the social media cell of the EC would go into the issue of App of politicians and political parties sharing user data without the users’ consent.

“Any aberration won’t stop the use of modern technology... banks frauds have taken place, but we don’t stop banking,” Rawat told media persons while announcing the Karnataka assembly poll schedule. 

Rawat further said the probe panel’s social media cell will make its recommendations on the issue to the Commission which would then take a final call. 

The chief election commissioner  was responding to a question on whether  Facebook would continue to be the EC’s social media partner in the wake of reports that its user data had been harvested by a company without the users’ consent. 

He said the Facebook would continue to be its social media partner. “It is. We have a Facebook page,” he said. 

The CEC said that the social media is a reality and the EC will take all precautions at its commend, to prevent episodes which adversely affect Indian elections. 

The CEC had last week said the poll panel would coordinate with the enforcement agencies for suggestions to prevent “unlawful” activities such as attempts to influence polls. 

He had made the remarks following revelations about data harvesting by the British poll consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica through Facebook. 

The Facebook data scandal erupted after a whistleblower revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to Trump’s 2016 campaign, accessed personal data from 50 million users of the website without their knowledge, and might have kept that data even after the social media giant told the company to delete it. 

The EC uses Facebook to encourage young people to enrol as voters.

(With PTI inputs)

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