Twitter Hashtags Should Be Treated As Political Ads: Expert Panel Set Up By EC

New Delhi: ‘Hashtag’ trends on Twitter be treated as political ads during the election process. This is the recommendation of an expert committee in its interim report submitted to the poll panel in January. It was set up by the Election Commission last year.

The committee also called for the creation of a separate social media monitoring cell in the district election officer’s (DEO) office so that political ads on social media can be tracked during the elections, Times of India reported.

In February, India had warned Twitter to obey local laws after it failed to comply with the government’s orders to take down certain content.

The Centre had also warned that it may arrest Twitter’s top executives in India stating that its list of accounts sought to be censured over “inflammatory content” was not negotiable. The government added that its “patience is running out” over the refusal of the company to follow the earlier notice given under Section 69A of the IT Act. the report added.

India has ordered Twitter to remove more than 1,100 accounts and posts that it alleges are spreading misinformation about the widespread protests by Indian farmers against new agricultural laws.

The government also said, “Twitter is free to formulate its own rules and guidelines. But Indian laws which are enacted by the Parliament of India must be followed irrespective of Twitter’s own rules and guidelines.”

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