ECI orders X to take down select posts of political parties, leaders ahead of Lok Sabha polls

While X (formerly Twitter) took down the posts, it disagreed with these actions & maintained that freedom of expression should apply to them


Published Apr 17, 2024 | 12:33 PMUpdatedApr 17, 2024 | 12:33 PM

X logo. (X)

The Election Commission has ordered social media platform X (formerly Twitter) to take down select posts of YSR Congress, AAP, N Chandrababu Naidu and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Samrat Choudhary for violation of the model code of conduct, the microblogging site said on Tuesday, 16 April.

The orders were issued on 2 and 3 April and a follow-up email was sent by the poll panel on 10 April in which it cited a violation of the “voluntary code of ethics” if X fails to remove the four posts reported to it.

X said the Election Commission of India has issued takedown orders requiring the microblogging site to act on posts containing political speech shared by elected politicians, political parties, and candidates for office.

The poll panel found that the objectionable posts were in violation of the model code of conduct that bars criticising political parties based on any aspects of the private life of leaders or workers of other parties that are not connected with public activities or based on unverified allegations or distorted facts.

“In compliance with the orders, we have withheld these posts for the remainder of the election period. However, we disagree with these actions and maintain that freedom of expression should extend to these posts and political speech in general,” the microblogging site said.

“We have notified the affected users and in the interest of transparency, we are publishing the takedown orders here. We call on the Election Commission to publish all of its takedown orders going forward,” it said.

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