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Facebook to Bring Specific Tools to Boost Election Engagement

Both the new tools are being made available in 12 local languages across India

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This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

Social-networking site Facebook on Tuesday launched two new India-specific tools — “Candidate Connect” and “Share You Voted” — to boost civic engagement on its platform during the general elections that commence in April.

While “Candidate Connect” will help people learn more about candidates, the “Share You Voted” will provide people with polling information and enable them to announce and celebrate their vote, the company said in a statement.

“We have more than tripled the team working on safety and security to 30,000 people, introduced unprecedented transparency requirements for political advertising, improved our ability to detect and remove fake accounts and stepped up our efforts to fight false news and misinformation,” said Samidh Chakrabarti, Director, Product Management for Civic Integrity, Facebook.

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A photo shows the Facebook app icon on an iPhone in New York, Feb. 19, 2014. VOA

Starting next week, voters in India, either through a bookmark in their settings, or through a message in their News Feed would be able to watch 20-second videos of candidates contesting from their respective constituencies.

The company said that the questions included in “Candidate Connect” are outcomes of locally conducted consumer research programmes.

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“We aim to better equip our users as they look forward to participating in the political process of the country,” Chakrabarti further added.

Both the new tools are being made available in 12 local languages across India. (IANS)

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Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt Takes Pledge Not to Support Citizenship Amendment Act

The Bill, which has since become an Act, will provide Indian nationality to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh

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Mahesh Bhatt
After attending the press meet, Mahesh Bhatt on Sunday tweeted: We the people of India , having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC.(At Ambedkar's abode. After reading the Preamble of our Constitution)". Wikimedia Commons

Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt on Sunday took a pledge not to support the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

He along with Congress leader Sanjay Jha joined a protest meet here. A video is doing the rounds on the Internet in which Bhatt is seen taking the pledge, perhaps a few days back.

“We believe Citizenship Amendment Bill is discriminatory and it violates the constitutional values. We don’t accept this bill and if it becomes a law we shall boycott its execution. We pledge not to submit any documents if asked to prove our citizenship,” he has said in the video.

After attending the press meet, Bhatt on Sunday tweeted: We the people of India , having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC.(At Ambedkar’s abode. After reading the Preamble of our Constitution).”

Several parts of India have been witnessing violent protests ever since the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed in Lok Sabha last week. The situation further escalated after the bill was cleared in Rajya Sabha.

The Bill, which has since become an Act, will provide Indian nationality to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Mahesh Bhatt
Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt on Sunday took a pledge not to support the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Wikimedia Commons

The issue has caused widespread unprecedented violent protests in the northeast, especially in the states of Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya, with the agitating demonstrators demanding the withdrawal of the CAA claiming that the fresh legislation would jeopardize the demographic situations and life, culture and socio-economic positions to the 45.58 million populations of region.

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On Sunday afternoon, four buses were burnt in South Delhi as protesters clashed with police. (IANS)