Union Election Commission (UEC) and International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) jointly conducted the Training on Social Media: Usage, Strategies and Internal Guide at the UEC’s meeting hall in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
Speaking at the event, UEC Chairman U Hla Thein said that the training was a refresher course for UEC office’s employees to effectively use news and information when conducting awareness campaigns on electoral education through Facebook.
He said social media plays an important role in the modern world and its pages are popularly used as a platform for sharing information. The use of social media has advantages but it has also disadvantages and challenges, said the UEC Chairman.
The challenges include pessimistic news reporting, false news, and unofficial and fake social media pages. They need to be handled cautiously and solutions for them also need to be considered, U Hla Thein added.
He then continued that his commission will work to ensure people from all sectors can access and effectively use information and documents related to electoral processes from the UEC’s website and social media. He said this objective is included in Chapter 5 of their strategic plan for 2019-2022.
Therefore, the Facebook platform that can rapidly send information to people has to be used effectively during the election awareness activities, he added.
The UEC Chairman said an estimated five million youths will be voting for the first time in the upcoming 2020 General Elections. They have to be properly informed of the electoral processes, particularly via Facebook which is currently the most popular social media platform among youths. The Facebook platform has also to be used to promote youth participation in the election process, he added.
The UEC chairman then said the training would teach the Dos and Don’ts for election awareness activities via Facebook. The social media usage manual (draft) will also include the dos and don’ts of the proper usage of Facebook to provide information.
The Chairman also urged the trainees to effectively use modern technologies in order to successfully implement the commission’s works and 2020 general elections processes in accordance with the five norms.
Present at the training were UEC Chairman U Hla Thein and members, officials from UEC office, officials from IFES, trainers, employees from the commission office and trainees. A group photo was also taken at the one-day training.—MNA (Translated by Kyaw Zin Tun)