Expenditure on social media websites will be included in expense of candidate

Ranchi: Chief Electoral Officer L Khiyangate said that the Election Commission of India has set aside separate rules and regulation for the expenditure incurred by the candidates on various social media platforms.
He said that the advertisement issued on the youtube, facebook, twitter, Wikipedia and virtual games and apps would be included in the cost of expenditure being incurred by the candidate or the political party contesting the Lok Sabha elections.

In this expenditure, the payment made to the internet companies and websites, cost of advertisement material and payment being made by the candidates and parties who maintain the social media accounts of the candidates and other labour cost have been included. To prevent the wrong use of social media, fake news and control the expenditure of the candidate and the party for social media companies voluntary code of ethics has been implemented.
Mr Khiyangate said that the candidates also needed to inform about their email ids and social media accounts to the election commission. He said that social media platforms come in the category of electronic medium therefore any advertisement or any other material will only be published or circulated on the social media platform after going through the same process of approvals as in the case of other electronic media.

As per the directions of the ECI before showcasing any political advertisement on any electronic media platform the political party or the candidate will have to take prior approval from the MCMC committee. He said that the model code of conduct will also be applicable on the use of social media websites and the internet.

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