Assembly polls: Candidates' social media accounts to be monitored
As parties and candidates campaign in full swing for the assembly elections, the city collector and the election commission will start monitoring their social media accounts.
City Collector Shaila A said while staff will monitor the accounts, complaints from people will also help them find out whether social media is being misused. Pic/Iqbal Ansari
In the last couple of years, the use of social media like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube has increased. Politicians are active in the field as well as on social media to lure voters. To avoid the misuse of social media, candidates had been asked to mention their Facebook and Twitter accounts while filing their nominations, so that these can be monitored.
City Collector Shaila A said, “Since we have got the final list of candidates after the last date of withdrawing candidature, October 1, we will start monitoring Facebook and Twitter accounts.” She added, “Our staff will randomly monitor accounts of candidates and complaints from the people will also help us find misuse of these media.”
After the code of conduct was implemented, candidates can only campaign for votes. They cannot make promises which can affect or influence voters’ minds. Almost all candidates are on Facebook and Twitter and have already started to use them for publicity.
Authorities will keep watch on their posts on Facebook and Twitter to find whether they are using the accounts to lure citizens with promises or ‘gifts’. If they are found posting any such comments, the election commission will take action and their candidature could also get cancelled.
This year citizens who had enlisted their names till September 17 will be part of the voters’ list. The collector’s office and election commission staff has already started issuing slips to voters. “Voters’ slips and voter ids will be distributed to people till three days before polling day,” said an officer from the election commission.
Politicians are very active on social media. Recently, mayor Snehal Ambekar used Facebook for the controversial red beacon issue. Through the social networking site, she appealed for support for a red beacon car for the mayor. A few months ago, the state government had issued a circular saying the mayor is not eligible to use a red beacon on his/ her car.