On previous hearing, social networking portal Facebook told the HC that it had introduced a strict “verification processes” for all political ads.
Mumbai: The Election Commission of India (ECI) informed the Bombay high court that social media companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube can’t publish political advertisements without the approval of the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC). The ECI also told the court that it has directed social media companies to remove unlawful and objectionable posts and information that is not verified by the MCMC from their websites.
A division bench of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice N.M. Jamdar was hearing a PIL filed by lawyer Sagar Suryavanshi, seeking directions to the EC to regulate fake news in the form of paid political ads on social media.
In compliance with the court’s previous orders, the commission submitted an affidavit on Monday, informing the HC of the proposed pre-verification rules for political ads. In its affidavit, the ECI said it will also “evolve a notification mechanism” for identifying and flagging such political ads that have not received its pre-verification, but have been posted on social media platforms.
The ECI, through its counsel Pradeep Rajagopal, told the high court that a meeting between the commission and all social media intermediaries was scheduled for Tuesday. Following the same, its new directi-ons imposing several prohibitions on political advertisements, and other ads concerned with “nat-ional interest”, will be fi-nalised and implemented.
“A code of conduct is being evolved in consultation with the Internet and Mobile Association of India and the social media intermediaries to incorporate the above measures and any other direction issued by this court,” it said.
On previous hearing, social networking portal Facebook told the HC that it had introduced a strict “verification processes” for all political ads. The new system ensures that only bonafide individuals, who are citizens of India, and political organisations based in the country can place political ads.