EC to internet companies: Ensure no unlawful content is posted online | india | Hindustan Times
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EC to internet companies: Ensure no unlawful content is posted online

india Updated: Mar 18, 2014 22:04 IST
HT Correspondent
Election Commission

The Election Commission on Tuesday asked the internet-based media to ensure they do not carry content that is unlawful, malicious or violates Model Code of Conduct during the ongoing campaign for the upcoming general election.

"In case of any unlawful content coming to the notice of the election machinery and brought to internet based media, the same would be removed forthwith," the EC said on Tuesday.

It has also asked the companies not to accept any political advertisement without pre-certification by a committee authorised by the EC.

The internet companies have also been asked to inform the poll watchdog about expenditure incurred by political parties on election campaign on the internet, if asked.

The fresh directions are in addition to the ones issued in October last year, where in the EC asked the candidates to include in their poll expenditure reports the money spent on the campaign on social media networks.

The candidates are required to provide details of internet election expenses in a separate section.

The commission had also said that the provisions of the model code of conduct that comes into force with announcement of elections would also apply to the content being posted on the internet, including social media websites.

Adding to earlier instructions, the EC told the Internet and Mobile Association of India that no political advertisement should be accepted or displayed on internet without pre-certification.

The EC has designated advertisement approval committees headed by a senior government official for each district in the country.

Election Commission Nasim Zaidi had earlier told HT that it would issue directions to the internet companies to remove content that was violative of the model code.

Internet companies had, however, expressed limitation in removing the content saying most of the servers were abroad where the Indian laws would not apply. In that case removing the content would become difficult, the companies had argued.