As the world’s largest democracy prepares for Lok Sabha’s 17th election, Facebook has taken several steps to ensure free and fair elections. After 18 months of careful planning, the social media giant has come up with several strategies to block and eliminate false accounts, stop misinformation and eradicate false news from its widely used platform.
In an attempt to combat the spread of false information, Facebook has extended its fact-checking program to India by partnering with seven third-party data verification organizations. In addition, AI and machine learning tools are used effectively to track and block large-scale suspicious accounts. Up to 24 new languages have been added to the system to detect malicious activity, including 16 Indians.
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To ensure global coordination and faster response time, new regional electoral integrity centers have been activated in Singapore and Dublin. These units work closely with the Facebook team in California and with local authorities in Delhi to limit the threat of misinformation.
With its political advertising transparency tool, users can now have a clear idea of who places the ads they see in their news. Any political party or individual wishing to publish an ad on the platform must verify its identity and location, as well as who paid for it or who published it. These ads will come with a “paid by” or “published by” disclaimer, eliminating any possibility of deviation.
Recognizing the importance of public awareness, Facebook worked with the Indian Election Commission to design a dedicated communication channel to establish a dialogue with the commission and political parties. In addition, it has launched a “Candidate Connect” program to provide voters with accurate information about different candidates and “Share You Voted”, which allows users to share information with their friends.
These measures demonstrate Facebook’s commitment to maintaining the integrity of the elections.