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As the Model Code of Conduct came into force, Election Commission of India's Delhi's CEO today described the social media as a "serious challenge" and said it will launch a special campaign to check misuse of the platform for election campaigning purposes.
"According to the directions of the Election Commission of India, the instructions and guidelines applicable on electronic media are applicable on social media.
"It is a recent phenomenon and we will make possible efforts to the curb the violations of the model code of conduct, violations of expenditure monitoring or media certification and monitoring committee violations through the use of social media. But it is a serious challenge for us," said CEO Vijay Dev.
He further said that it is difficult to handle social media particularly when "Election Commission, so far, has issued orders only for tackling the online accounts of candidates and political parties and hence there is a big loophole."
"Any citizen on behalf of these political parties or candidates can come out with anything on Facebook, Twitter or other social networking sites to influence people and we cannot have any control over that," said Dev, adding that a strong mechanism needed to be in place to tackle the issue.