Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) Monday said its members, which include social media platforms like Facebook, are committed towards "fair and transparent" elections in the country. Last week, a panel had submitted its report to the Election Commission (EC) that had recommended formalising the line of communication between the EC and social media companies, so that content prima facie seen as violative can be flagged and brought down.
"We would also like to thank ECI ... for adopting a consultative approach in the development of the Report. The membership of IAMAI recognises that this is an important issue and acknowledges that no online platform should be abused to undermine the integrity and sanctity of democratic processes," the IAMAI said in a statement. The association has close to 300 members, ranging from players like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Flipkart and One97 Communications (Paytm).
The IAMAI added that online platforms are committed to promptly responding to such abuse in accordance with law -- when notified by the EC -- if it is found to be in violation of Section 126 of the Representation of People Act, 1951. "IAMAI being the voice for the majority of intermediaries in India would like to reaffirm its commitment to working with the EC to ensure free and fair elections in the country," the statement said. It added that the industry body will engage closely with the EC to build voter awareness and enhance civic engagement.
The EC-appointed panel was mandated to review and suggest modifications and changes in the provisions of Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act dealing with campaigning in the last 48 hours, provisions of the Model Code of Conduct and EC instructions issued in this regard. In a statement, the Commission had said the task of maintaining "campaign silence" during last 48 hours before the conclusion of polling is becoming "increasingly onerous" in the light of the increasing influence of digital media.
(With inputs from agencies.)