Every Facebook profile and page, and every Twitter and Instagram account – not only of political leaders but also of the general public and the media houses – is now under the scanner of the State Election Department.
The department has been carrying out social media monitoring on a real-time basis through a team of experts deployed in every district headquarters under the district-level media certification and monitoring committee.
A social media expert told “We are mainly concentrating on posts which receive a large number of comments, reactions and shares. Moreover, we are also keeping vigil on highly circulated WhatsApp messages.”
“All official and personal accounts and pages of political leaders and media houses available on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are now under scanner. We are bound to prevent circulation of provocative messages or statements. Moreover, we also verify all live videos, especially those of political leaders on the social media, and focus on posts which may provoke religious hatred,” he added.
The social media expert stated that they are also in continuous contact with the Cyber Crime Department of Assam Police for the monitoring process. Moreover, the experts are also keep a strict vigil on political websites.
Meanwhile, the Election Department has also started monitoring all news channels and newspapers in the State. According to sources, the district-level media certification and monitoring committee is recording all news items aired in the news channels round the clock.
On the other hand, major political parties like the BJP and the Congress are increasingly using the social media as a tool of promotion and campaign.
“Earlier, we lagged behind the BJP in using the social media platform. But this time around, we have given special attention to it. Already, thousands of our workers have started social media campaigns for the party,” said Rhituparna Konwar, spokesperson of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC).
According to Konwar, the APCC is trying its best to use all social media platforms not only for campaigns but also to connect with grassroot workers.
“Through the social media platforms, we are trying to convey our vision about secularism and nationalism to the common people and stop the misinformation being spread by the BJP. Our main aim is to reach our youth voters and inform them about the present scenario created by the misrule of the BJP Government,” the APCC spokesperson added.
On the contrary, Assam BJP spokesperson Rupam Goswami said: “Since the last Lok Sabha election we have been very active on the social media. We have already got full-fledged teams in all levels of leadership. We have been using the social media platform not only during elections but also at other times to remain in contact with people, especially the youth. We are confident that no other party would be able to beat us in the use of the social media.”
Goswami further stated that through the social media they are trying to convey information related to various government schemes and check the propaganda being spread by other parties, especially the Congress.