Election Commission of India Orders Social Media Platform X to Remove Political Posts

The Election Commission of India orders social media platform X to remove certain political posts, sparking debate over free speech and fair elections during the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

author-image
Wojciech Zylm
New Update
Election Commission of India Orders Social Media Platform X to Remove Political Posts

Election Commission of India Orders Social Media Platform X to Remove Political Posts

The Election Commission of India has issued takedown orders requiring the social media platform X, owned by Elon Musk, to remove certain posts containing political speech from elected politicians, political parties, and candidates for office. In compliance with the orders, X has withheld these posts for the remainder of the election period, although the platform has expressed its disagreement with the actions and maintains that freedom of expression should extend to these posts and political speech in general.

The posts that were taken down were from YSR Congress, AAP, N Chandrababu Naidu, and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Samrat Choudhary, and were found to be in violation of the model code of conduct that bars criticizing political parties based on aspects of the private life of leaders or workers that are not connected with public activities or based on unverified allegations or distorted facts.

X has notified the affected users and published the takedown orders in the interest of transparency, and has called on the Election Commission to publish all of its takedown orders going forward. The platform has stated that it disagrees with the commission's orders and has called on the commission to publish all of its takedown orders going forward.

Why this matters: The takedown orders from the Election Commission of India highlight the ongoing debate around the regulation of political posts on social media platforms during election periods. The incident raises questions about the balance between freedom of expression and the need to maintain a level playing field in electoral contests.

The Lok Sabha polls will be held in seven phases beginning on April 19, and the counting of votes will take place on June 4 for the world's biggest election exercise in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will bid for a third consecutive term. India is set to begin the world's largest electoral exercise on Friday, with nearly a billion eligible voters.

Key Takeaways

  • Election Commission of India ordered X to remove certain political posts.
  • Posts were from YSR Congress, AAP, N Chandrababu Naidu, and Bihar Deputy CM.
  • Posts violated model code of conduct on criticizing parties based on private life.
  • X disagrees with orders, calls for transparency in all takedown orders.
  • India's Lok Sabha polls to be held in 7 phases starting April 19, 2024.