Former Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi share worry about Unregulated Social Media impact on Elections
VISHAL MALHOTRA/ JITENDER PAL- TEN NEWS
New Delhi : (08/04/2019) Today, Shahabuddin Yaqoob Quraishi who served as 17th Chief Election Commissioner of India, addressed a conference regarding the present situation of social media impact on election processes. He was appointed as the CEC as the successor to Navin Chawla on 30 July 2010. He has also served as a Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. He is an IAS officer of the 1971 batch from Haryana cadre.
Recalling the previous efforts if Election Commission, he said that in October, 2013, Election Commission came with instruction for media, where in many obligations were prescribed for the candidates and the political parties, but did not regulate the social media platform to influence voters and election process in India.
Election Commission has accepted the fact that Internet is also covered within the definition of Electronic media. Accordingly Election Commission is duty bound to properly regulate internet companies.
Quraishi also mentioned, “The Election Commission entered into the Voluntary Code of Ethics provided by Internet and Mobile Association of India, which is toothless and ineffective. The thrust is to emphasize on the impact of social media on the general elections in India and the need for adequate and effective instructions by Election Commission of India in exercise of power under Article 324 of the Constitution of India to insulate the electoral process from any outside interference, influence or malpractice.”
“The social media companies, viz. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Sharechat etc. are being treated as “intermediates”, and being a connecting point between the originator and user have been exempted from many legal obligations. They do not have any liability for the content generated by the originator and used by the user, howsoever offensive it may be. In fact by publishing such matter to be personal and as a facilitator to publish is without any proper mechanism.”