Control election related propaganda during ‘cooling period’
Posted on November 11th, 2019

Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya Courtesy The Daily Mirror

The People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) has requested Facebook to control campaigning on its platform during the ‘cooling period’ where political propaganda for the forthcoming presidential election will cease.

Accordingly, propaganda activities for the presidential election will cease on the midnight of November 13. This includes display of posters, banners, meetings, postal and distribution of leaflets, visits and social media campaigns or anything that may influence voters. The cooling period is for the general public to make their independent decisions without being influenced by any propaganda activity.

In a letter to the administrator of Facebook, PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi said it had no control over Facebook-related campaigning which was against election laws.

Due to the nature of social media, we are in a dilemma on how the implementation and enforcement of law and order on Facebook will take ground, especially during the cooling period,” he said in the letter.

Mr. Hettiarachchi said they strongly believed the Facebook administration would pay immediate attention and take necessary action in this regard.

PAFFREL has deployed a special technical team to coordinate with Facebook in order to control and mitigate propaganda activities on the public domain,” he said. 

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