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Lok Sabha General Election-2024-Quick Response Management: 360 Degree Effort to Monitor Fake News

Jaipur (Hamara Watan) Election Department in Rajasthan has initiated a 360-degree effort for monitoring of fake news and hate speech during the Lok Sabha General Election-2024. In order to ensure conduct of fair and transparent election process several committees have been constituted by engaging the Public Relations and the Police department officials.

Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Gupta said that the election department was keeping a close watch on the information or news reports being spread on social media in regard to election process, including EVM, law and order, voter lists etc. A Quick Response Management Plan has been set-in to make sure that all such information was true and factual. For this, 33 committees have been formed district level and another at the state level.

Gupta stated that the officers of the Department of Information and Public Relations are continuously monitoring the flow of such news and info on various social media platforms. The police officials have been lined-up as Nodal Officers being for this.

State Level Committee :-

As per the instructions received from the Election Commission of India (ECI), a three-member committee is working in the office of the Chief Electoral Officer to keep an eye on the information broadcast and published on social media, news channels, newspapers, FM and other sources related to elections at the state level. This committee scrutinizes the suspicious info with the help of the Social Media and Fact Check team of the PR officers. Immediately, a fact-checking exercise is done through the concerned department of the district administration.

The CEO stated that after identifying the information to be wrong or misleading, as per the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), the case is sent to the Election Commission of India with a clickable link within 3-4 hours for its removal or other such further action. To make the entire process more effective and quick, a WhatsApp group has been formed at the state level. This group includes nodal officers and their team members of the committees formed for fact checking at the district and state level, who take immediate action on such news.

District Level Committees :-

The Chief Electoral Officer said that committees have been constituted at all 33 elections districts as well in coordination with the district PR officers. The Social Media and Fact Check teams at the district closely analyzes the information broadcast and published at district level social media platforms, local news channels, newspapers and other sources. These committees present the suspicious cases of wrong or misleading information to the state level committee for action as per requirement.

Police Make Possible Controlling Fake News :-

Gupta said that the Election Department’s idea of curbing fake news, wrong or misleading information on social media, is being supported by the police department as well. About 80 police officers have been deputed across the state for monitoring of information and checking of facts at the local level. Inspector General of Police Sharat Kaviraj has been nominated the State Nodal Officer for this. At the district level, Additional Superintendents of Police have been assigned the task as nodal officers in the districts. These officers are authorized to take action in the cases of fake news as per the Indian Penal Code and other relevant rules and directions.

रिपोर्ट – राम गोपाल सैनी

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