Popular social media platforms Facebook and Twitter have removed or disabled over 600 posts on requests from the Election Commission of India during the first three phases of the country’s parliamentary elections.
Facebook has removed 574 posts while Twitter disabled or deleted 49 accounts or tweets, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
Two YouTube videos were also deleted and three WhatsApp service users were disabled after the EC flagged concerns over them.
The first phase of polling was held on April 11, the second on April 18 and the third two days ago. The 39-day marathon voting exercise, whose fourth round is slated for April 29, will end on May 19.
At least 468 of the social media takedowns were made as they were found circulating political contents or advertisements during the 48-hour ‘silent phase’ period from the end of campaigning and voting before each phase of the elections as mandated by the EC.
Of those, 60 posts in Facebook had “political advertisements” published during the silent period despite EC’s directives against the same, while 28 posts “offended public morality and decency”, 10 had “voter misinformation”, six were “hate speech” or “undue influence” and two “violated the model code of conduct”.
On Twitter, 34 of the 49 tweets/accounts were deleted or disabled for “explicit violation” of the model code for election, while eight were deemed political posts uploaded during the silent period and two were deleted for “hate speeches” against political rivals.
The two YouTube videos deleted were for “propagating hate speech” and “broadcasting political content” during the silent period, while the three WhatsApp numbers were disabled for violation of model code and hate speech.