This Code of Conduct was published to address the issues of election transparency and disinformation in the digital sphere. This code requires transparency regarding the sender, costs, and reach of advertisements during the election campaign. It also urges political parties to avoid posting misleading messages or accept foreign funding for advertising.
Nepal’s Election Commission published their electoral code of conduct in 2015, which established standards and regulations for various institutions, persons, bodies and authorities. The code includes language for the mass media in preventing the publication, broadcast, or dissemination of “baseless information in favor of or against candidate or political party on electronically used social networks such as S.M.S., Facebook, Twitter and Viber”. Clauses such as these work to ban deliberate sharing of fake news during Nepal’s election period.
The purpose of the “Ethical Principles of Candidates of 28 October 2018 Presidential Elections” was to establish guidelines for presidential candidates during their election campaigns. The Central Election Commission and candidates agreed to broad disinformation guidance through the clauses such as:
- “abstain from the dissemination of false information with prior knowledge”
- “refuse to use any hate speech or statements that involved xenophobia or intimidation.”
South Africa’s “Code of Conduct: Measures to Address Disinformation Intended to Cause Harm During the Election Period” (in draft form as of July 2020) is aimed at “every registered party and every candidate” with additional obligations under the code for how those parties and candidates must take appropriate recourse against any member, representative or supporter of that party or candidate who behaves in violation of the code. The code is drawn narrowly to limit its application to the electoral period and ground it firmly in the broader legal and regulatory framework in South Africa.