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Elections 2019: Political parties should get their social media content certified by EC

Focusing on the campaigning on social media by the candidates, Krishna district collector and district election officer A. Md. Imtiaz directed all the political parties to get the digital content produced by them certified by the Media Certification and Monitoring Committees before posting on various media platforms.
 
He said that all the social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Wikipedia, various other applications and bulk message services, were being monitored by the Election Commission to see if the candidates are violating the norms during campaigning. The candidates should follow the guidelines laid by the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), he said.
 
The content on social media will be considered on the lines of content being aired on the electronic media and the candidates should get the content certified by the MCMC. The expenditure incurred in producing the content and towards the teams managing the social media will be considered as poll expenditure, he said.
 
He said that the social media monitoring committee took notice of some serious violations, after examining the content was posted. The returning officers were asked to take further action, Imtiaz said.
 
Election-related content posted by individual users or fan pages will also be observed and referred to the cyber crime cell for investigation, in case if it is objectionable and in violation of the code of conduct. Three cases were booked for violation of code on the social media and notices were issued to the concerned candidates, he said. 
 
The violations have been categorised into party level, private life, caste, corruption and public meetings. Abusing a community or a particular caste during the campaigning will be viewed seriously, he warned.
 
Imtiaz said that many cases of violation of the MCC were registered so far. Over Rs.2 crore unaccounted cash and gold worth Rs 1.8 crore were seized. As many as 150 complaints were received through cVigil application and a majority of them are relating the poll materials like banners and hoardings. He said that no complaints of money distribution were received till now.
 
On the action taken with regard to the violations, he said that 200 cases were registered so far.  A large number of vehicles, including tractors and cars, were seized, used during the rallies taken out during filing of nominations.
 
He said 33,021 banners, posters and wall writings have been removed and faces of 17,000 statues were defaced, as part of implementation of election code in the district. Over 33,136 litres of illicit liquor was seized and 226 people were arrested.

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