As the country is stepping closer to the State Assembly Elections and Lok Sabha Elections next year, Indian voters are keen to learn more about their politicians. As a helping hand the social media giant Facebook has partnered with Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) to provide voters with up-to-date candidates’ information to help them make a correct decision on who will rule the country.
With the ‘Know Your Neta’ initiative, around 876 million mobile subscribers in India can access election candidates’ criminal, financial, educational, professional etc. information directly on their mobile via Facebook using USSD technology.
To get more information about a politician, one has to dial the USSD code *325# from their mobile to access the Facebook service and select the election menu (option 6) or can directly dial the USSD code *325*35# to access the election menu. The service is offered free of charge to all Indian users.
“This initiative with Facebook will allow us to expand our reach. Voters will be able to know the poll worthiness of candidates — their educational, criminal and financial information — at their fingertips and choose wisely. Simply voting in an uninformed manner is not enough, citizens need to make an informed choice.” said Prof. Trilochan Sastry, Founder and Trustee, Association for Democratic Reforms.
“Together with ADR, we hope to make information more readily available to users about the antecedents and performance of political candidates. Our goal is to enable citizens to get involved in issues of governance. We are delighted to collaborate with ADR on this important initiative.” said Ankhi Das, Director of Public Policy, Facebook India.
Currently the Facebook USSD service is available with all major telecom operators in India including Airtel, TataDocomo, Vodafone India, Aircel, Idea Cellular and Reliance Communication.
We think the service will be used by thousands of Indian Voters as this USSD based service is more simple, faster and cheapest.