Election Commission on Tuesday had a meeting with representatives of various social media platforms and Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) on the usage of social media ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019.
In the meeting, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora exhorted the social media organisations to come up with a model code of conduct for the ongoing election process in the immediate context and a lasting document in the long run. The code, he suggested, could be akin to the model code of conduct followed by all political parties from the date of declaration of schedule of elections till the election process is concluded.
"Voluntary restraint is a hallmark of civilised society and works as effectively as any regulation, Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa said at the meeting, while suggesting that a clear clause on users' voluntarily agreeing not to misuse social media platforms for election or political purposes should be considered by the management.
The commission also asked social media organisations to consider some punitive action against users misusing the platform.
The meeting was attended by representatives if IAMAI, Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, Google, ShareChat, TikTok and BigoTV. IAMAI and social media intermediaries willingly agreed to come up with a ‘Code of Ethics’ for the Industry laying down operational details by tomorrow evening, a press release by the EC said on Tuesday.