USD 11,000 spent for political advertisements on Facebook

Published On: October 20, 2022 01:21 PM NPT By: Basanta Dhungana

KATHMANDU, Oct 20: False information and hateful expressions given by candidates during election campaigns through social media will be removed, according to the Election Commission (EC). The poll body has collaborated with social media companies to remove false information and hate speech by candidates on Facebook, Twitter and TikTok.

"During the election, candidates can spread their propaganda through social media including Facebook," EC Secretary Gokarna Dawadi said while speaking at a media orientation program in Bharatpur. “We have collaborated with social media companies to remove such contents from internet platforms.” According to the commission, the employees of Meta Company have also been trained on this and discussions have already taken place with Twitter and TikTok regarding the same.

Dawadi said that apart from the false information and hateful expressions made by the candidates, the expenditure details of the election campaign materials (advertisements) should be submitted to the Election Commission. "All the expenses specified by the Election Commission can be spent through Facebook," he said, "But the actual details need to be submitted to the Election Commission." Facebook's Meta Company keeps data of political advertisements for seven years. According to the EC, after looking at the same details, the expenses of advertisements made through social networks will be monitored and examined whether the candidate has included them in the election expenses statement to be submitted according to the law after the election is over.

In a period of 26 days, there were 1,500 political ads from Nepal on Facebook. Kamal Bhattarai, deputy secretary of the Election Commission, said that 11,000 US dollars exited the country for this purpose. “The candidates have done election campaigning on Facebook. According to Meta's report, there have been 1,500 political advertisements since the last week of September,” he said.

Also, the EC has allowed the candidates to carry out election campaigns from November 4. The statement of expenses from the same day must be submitted to the EC within 35 days after the election. So far, the commission has asked 124,600 people for clarification on the issue of expenditure details.



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