I have willingly agreed to undertake this role because of my love for social media. Now I can official be on twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs, and online forums for 24 hours without upsetting my wife.
But I also have fear of being misunderstood by my cyber buddies-you might start thinking I will be policing on you and restrict your freedom on social media but in reality we are as free as ever as long as we follow rules. And ECB Social Media Rules and Regulation of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2012 has nothing more than ordinary rules we follow in life, what makes it different is it stresses on election. It's just a question of few months for the sake of Free and Fair election.
The rules are there to
- "Promote the responsible use of Social Media..."
- "Ensure a level playing field for all contestants..."
- "Prevent and Control any violation of the Electoral Laws in the use of Social Media in elections."
|Click on the Picture to Download the book (Just 15 pages)|
4.1Every user of the Social Media shall have the responsibility to carry out oversight duty and report to the election authorities any violation of the laws, in particular the Election Code of Conduct by a Political Party, Candidate, Voter, media, electoral officer or worker of a Political Party.
And under "Fair and Accurate Reporting" I'd like to highlight one point:4.4No individual shall communicate/transmit/post hate messages or any content with intent to defame or reduce the electoral chances of an opposing contestant or Political Party.
Role of our office is as stated in 4.6 (however the online version needs to be updated with changes made)8.6A Party, Candidate or their supporters shall not include rumour or unsubstantiated statements that have potential to mislead or deceive the reader, listener or viewer.
"The office of the Media Arbitrator shall put in place facility to monitor the Social Media forums effectively during the election and be responsible to arbitrate all media related disputes."And in case of violation of the Electoral Laws by Anonymous users on Social Media:
4.9 (It's not in the online version)
"An ISP shall be required to put in place a system that can lawfully intercept and provide the necessary information on the identity of social media abuser using its services"
8.2 An online poll on support or opposition to Political Party or Candidate shall not be permitted during the Election Period.
6.1The 48 hour period before poll and until the close of Polls, is also referred as Blackout Period or the 48-hour no-campaign period under the Laws, during which:
6.1.1No one shall publish, broadcast, or transmit any item that is of the nature of election campaign supporting or opposing any Political Party or Candidate.