EC partners with FB to monitor misinformation

Election Commission will closely monitoring social media platforms and messaging apps to identify and report pre and post elections violence, voter suppression, and the spread of misinformation, EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said.

Deshapriya informed that EC has partnered with Facebook and related apps Whatsapp and Instagram to maintain the integrity of the elections by appointing a team to screen such content. Apart for the Facbeook family apps Fact Crescendo and AFP Fact Checker too will screen elections related content that will be pushed on Facebook platform in all three languages.

“The EC has setup an email account where the public can send in their complaints, concerns by way of a note, images, and videos in relation to pre and post elections violence related incidents. Alternatively you could also send a whatsapp or viber message to 0719 160 000 to report such incidents along with images or videos as evidence,” Deshapriya informed.

When inquired whether Sri Lanka has a mechanism to monitor campaign financing and from where the funds are funnelled, Deshapriya informed: “We are yet to construct a framework that would look in to this aspect, where such instances could be reported to the authorities and to enable the elections commission to put a cap on campaign financing. Until such a mechanism is established the public will have to depend on the asset declarations that would be made by each nominee for transparency purposes.”

According to Deshapriya, prior to 1978 there was a cap in campaign financing and candidates were compelled to declare their spending on their elections campaigns. Whoever who failed would lose their ability to run for office. 

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