FAQ on Social Media
Q. Do candidates have to mention details about their Social Media accounts at the time of filing nominations?
A. Authentic social media account (if any) should be informed by the candidate in para 3 of Form-26 at the time of filing of nomination.
Q. Does political advt. on Social Media sites come under the purview of pre- certification?
A. Yes. Since social media websites are also electronic media by definition, therefore Commission’s instructions with regards to pre-certification of political advertisements shall also apply mutatis mutandis to websites including social media websites.
Q. Does the Model Code of Conduct apply to the content on internet including social media?
A. Yes. Provisions of Model Code of Conduct and related instructions of the Commission issued from time to time shall also apply to the content being posted on the internet, including social media websites, by candidates and political parties.
Q. Do candidates/Political parties have to include their expenditure on advertisement of Social Media while submitting their final statement of expenditure?
A. Yes. Candidates and political parties have to include all expenditure on campaigning, including expenditure on advertisement on social media while submitting final statement of expenditure. This shall also include payment made to internet companies and websites for carrying advertisements and campaign related operational expenditure on creative development of content, operational expenditure on salaries and wages paid to the team of workers employed by such candidates and political parties to maintain their social media accounts etc.
Q. Will the content in the form of messages/ photos/ comments/ videos/ blogs/ self accounts’ on websites be treated as political advertisement and therefore require to get pre-certification?
A. No. Any political content in the form of messages/ comments/ photos/ videos posted/uploaded on the ‘blogs/ self accounts’ on website will not be treated as political advertisement and therefore would not require pre-certification, even if the same is posted/uploaded by the political parties/ candidates.
Q. Will political advertisements issued in e-paper of any newspaper require pre-certification?
A. Yes. Political advertisement issued in e-paper of any newspaper shall invariably require pre-certification by concerned MCMC.
Q. How are CEOs and DEOs involved in Commission’s Social Media participation?
A. Chief Electoral Officers and the District Electoral Officers are expected to activate their official accounts on various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc. for establishing a more interactive system. A Social Media Cell will also be set up by the CEOs to professionally handle the Social Media and disseminate all the necessary information regarding voters’ awareness, pre-certification, MCC, etc. Complaints received on this platform would be promptly responded to.
Q. What steps has the Commission planned in to establish its presence in the world of Social Media?
A. The ECI level, a Social Media Cell is also setup to disseminate all election related information to various stakeholders and to monitor the performance of the State/UTs and District and to guide and train them to maximise the use of Social Media, making it more interactive and interesting for the general public. The Social Media Cell also closely monitors the web for election related news and developments and regularly reports to the Commission.