X withholds some posts till poll period after Election Commission order | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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X withholds some posts till poll period after Election Commission order

Apr 17, 2024 06:57 AM IST

The order alleged that the posts violated the polls code that came into effect with the announcement of the schedule for Lok Sabha elections.

Social media platform X has withheld a few posts containing political speech from elected politicians, political parties, and candidates for office after takedown orders from the Election Commission of India, the company said on Tuesday. The posts will be withheld for the remainder of the election period.

The logo of US online social media and social networking service X - formerly Twitter.(AFP)
The logo of US online social media and social networking service X - formerly Twitter.(AFP)

Elon Musk-owned X, however, disagreed with the orders saying “freedom of expression should extend to these posts and political speech in general.”

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“We have notified the affected users and in the interest of transparency,” X said as it published the takedown orders on its platform.

Also Read | Amid ‘insinuations’, EC details poll code action

It also called on the Election Commission to publish all of its takedown orders going forward.

In the takedown order published by X, the poll body reported four social media posts – one each by YSR Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Bihar deputy chief minister Samrat Chaudhary.

The order alleged that the posts violated the model code of conduct (MCC) that came into effect with the announcement of the schedule for Lok Sabha and assembly elections.

"As per commitments made under "Voluntary Code of Ethics", participant platforms are to take expeditious action on valid legal requests submitted by Election Commission of India and also make adequate arrangements to safeguard against misuse of their platforms. Failure to comply would amount to violation of "Voluntary Code of Ethics", to which X (Twitter) is a signatory. X may comply and take necessary action urgently," the order read.

Read: Election Commission seizes record 4,650 crore ahead of Lok Sabha polls, surpasses 2019 figures

India, with nearly a billion eligible voters, will set off on the world's largest electoral exercise on Friday.

The mammoth exercise will take 44 days before results are announced on June 4.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking a rare third successive term. He will face off against a broad but flailing alliance of opposition parties.

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