This time he is laying blame on Mark Zuckerberg. Vivian Balakrishnan is saying that a glitch with the well honed Facebook technology used by 1.18 billion people on the planet every month caused his election advertising first published on Sept 4 to be “auto-posting recurrently”. Although some spokesperson - notably not Balakrishnan himself - said the minister has explained to the Elections Department (ELD) about the potential breach of the "Cooling-off Day" law, it was Balakrishnan who claimed the "We have contacted Facebook headquarters to conduct an investigation into the source of this bug."
There are some problems with the way the minister or his to-be-designated scapegoat is dealing with the transgression. First, they deleted the offending Facebook post, which makes it slightly more difficult for Facebook to examine the metadata. Secondly, the ELD is specific about election advertisements that were put up on the Internet which must be left unchanged once the campaign silence period kicks in at the stroke of midnight. Note also the use of technology to automatically deliver digital ads online and on social media platforms - such as "auto-posting recurrently" - should not be conducted on both Cooling-off Day and Polling Day.
But the minister will not be losing sleep over the matter of whether electoral rules have been broken. If the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) has to get permission from the prime minister before initiating an investigation, would the ELD dare take action without consulting same?