Popular social media platform Instagram has now become a perfect place to disseminate fake news and misinformation because there is no restriction on fake news on Instagram.
It is interesting to note that the voluntary 'code of ethics' for general elections issued by EC is applicable on other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp but these rules are not applicable on Instagram.
As per the code of ethics, Facebook Twitter and WhatsApp have to remove fake news themselves but since there is no such restriction on Instagram this social media platform has become the favourite of political parties during the ongoing Lok Sabha poll.
The Election Commission is keeping a close watch on the content posted on Facebook, WhatApp and Twitter and is actively monitoring handles which are trying to disseminate fake news. It may be recalled that a parliamentary committee had recently summoned Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in order to explain the committee about fake news and how are they disseminated on social media.
The government has already directed all social media platforms to identify those who are spreading fake news and ban those users. But Instagram is one such platform which is still not under any kind of control.
According to Instagram, the EC is yet to asked the company to take down any objectionable content so far and the platform has not removed any accounts or posts linked to fake news and misinformation related to leaders and political parties.
Talking to Zee Media, cyber expert Sanjog Selar said, "This is a matter of concern specially at a time when Lok Sabha poll is underway. These account which are present on Instagram to spread fake news have lakhs of followers. Instagram mainly works by making photos and videos viral and this is the reason why these videos are used during election time."
Shiv Sena leader Akhilesh Tiwari added that fake news is used by opposition parties as part of their conspiracy to win election. The parties disseminate fake news to create tension in the society and polarise voters.