ECI to monitor social media

The use of social media to spread misinformation and fake news has been a huge concern in India and also in Arunachal Pradesh. Doctored videos and information have been blamed for a spate of mob lynching and even riots in India. In our state during the recent anti-PRC agitation the allegation of misuse of WhatsApp and Facebook to spread misinformation surfaced. The state government was so concern that it shutdown internet service for several days to stop the spreading of rumours. With the assembly and general election being declared, the fear of potential misuse of social media remains high.
The election commission of India (ECI) recently announced guideline for social media and said they will keep an eye on uses of social media during election. The politicians and political parties will have to ensure their social media accounts comply with official guidelines on “acceptable behaviour”. The ECI has declared that it would be flagging content that violates model code of conduct and that technology companies like Google, Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter – would be expected to take it down. The political parties frequently accuse each other of intentionally spreading fake news intended to cause social unrest and give them political points. Parties along with their supporters misuse the social media platform to further their causes. The state election commission in Arunachal Pradesh should maintain hawkish eye on social media especially Facebook and WhatsApp. Large number of people uses these medium in the state. Considering the past experience of the misuse of these two medium, the commission should be more careful and strictly monitor their uses.