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Social Media Will Be Tricky For India’s Election Commission To Deal With

With elections in several Indian states nearing, and national elections planned next year, India's Election Commission has said that it is going to keep an eye on politicians usage of Social Media, to ensure that they will not flout the model code of conduct, reports the Times of India. This is particularly relevant since many political parties - especially the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party, use social media as a key means of reaching out to voters, or even communicating with the press. Many have set up IT Cells for managing communication on social media - the BJP being the first to do so. Readers might remember that current Samajwadi Party CM Akhilesh Yadav had interacted with voters on Facebook during the elections in Uttar Pradesh, and even livestreamed his oath-taking ceremony on Facebook page, and its YouTube and DailyMotion. At a state level, the terms of the legislative assemblies of Delhi, Rajasthan, Mizoram and Madhya Pradesh are set to expire in December 2013, while that of the Chhatisgarh assembly will expire in the first week of January 2014. The national elections are expected early in the second quarter of next year. Social Media will be tricky for the Election Commission, and we wonder if it understands what exactly it is up against: - Tracking advertising expenditure: ToI quotes chief election officer Umesh Sinha as saying that "expenditure incurred on advertisements through social media will also be in the purview of Election Commission's monitoring committee and candidates hiding the…

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Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

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