We missed this earlier: Trends on Twitter, propagated using hashtags, could be treated as political advertisements during elections, and be subjected to media certification and monitoring committee (MCMC) regulations of the Election Commission of India, reported the Times of India. A panel set up by the ECI to study poll expenditure limits and expenditure monitoring mechanisms, also reportedly recommended the creation of a separate social media monitoring cell in district election officers' (DEO) offices. These monitoring cells will track political advertisements on social media during polls, and report them to the expenditure observer. The report has also recommended that DEO offices engage external consultants to develop these monitoring solutions, and build a dashboard to track actions on disclosures. Sources told the publication that the EC has accepted these recommendations. A group of senior EC officials, including Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha, has been asked to work out on modalities for the plan. However, these new norms will not apply to the current polls scheduled in West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry, an official told the publication. MediaNama has sent queries to the ECI and Sinha's office. They couldn't be reached for comment despite several attempts. This post will be updated if we receive any response. We have also filed an RTI for the interim and final reports. Google, Facebook and Twitter: The expert committee has reportedly found that Facebook (including Facebook and Instagram), Google (Google ads and YouTube) and Twitter are being used for political campaigns. It noted that…
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