Without realistic rules, Election Commission can’t monitor social media before polls

The Election Commission has announced that it will closely monitor the social media campaigns of parties and candidates in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. It has enlisted the cooperation of Google, Facebook and Twitter to uphold “the integrity of the political campaigns on their platforms”. As much as the Election Commission must be commended for factoring in social media activities in its overall governance of the electoral process, it is unclear how effectively it can manage to do this.

Even if a significant number — around 40 per cent in urban and 20 per cent in rural areas — of the 90 crore eligible Indian voters are on social media, let us be clear that tackling the regular offline issues during elections is far more important.

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