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Facebook Introduces New Tools to Protect EU Polls

The EU officials had criticised Facebook in January for not rolling out proper systems to tackle disinformation fast on its platform

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A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Facebook has introduced new tools to protect the integrity of the European Parliament elections in May.

Richard Allan, Vice President, Global Policy Solutions at Facebook, said in a blog post on Thursday that the aim was to prevent online advertising from being used for foreign interference and increase transparency around all forms of political and issue advertising.

“To help prevent abuse and interference, all the European Union (EU) advertisers will need to be authorised in their country to run ads related to the European Parliament elections,” said Allan.

Facebook will ask them to submit documents and use technical checks to confirm their identity and location.

“Importantly, this means that all the people who are reaching you with ads identified as related to politics or issues have been authorized as being in your country and will be required to provide accurate information about who they are,” Facebook emphasised.

The social media giant said to increase transparency, all ads related to politics and issues on Facebook and Instagram in the EU must be clearly labelled — including a “Paid for by” disclosure from the advertiser at the top of the ad.

Facebook, photos
This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

“We are inviting all political campaigns to start the ads authorization process now and we will start to block political or issue ads that have not been properly registered from mid-April,” Allan said.

Facebook has built an Ad Library to make it easy for everyone to find out about political or issue ads on its platforms.

“Here you will see all the ads that have been classified as relating to politics or issues and we will keep them in the library for seven years,” said the company.

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Facebook said it is expanding access to its API so that news organisations, regulators, watchdog groups and people can hold advertisers and the social media giant more accountable.

“We’re also making transparency information more visible on Pages, expanding access to our API to help more people analyze political or issue ads, and exempting news publishers from labelling their ads as related to politics or issues in the US,” added Satwik Shukla, Product Manager at Facebook.

The EU officials had criticised Facebook in January for not rolling out proper systems to tackle disinformation fast on its platform. (IANS)

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India: CSC Partners with Facebook to Provide Digital Skill Training to Women Village Level Entrepreneurs

India has made dramatic strides in expanding access to affordable mobile broadband in the last few years

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Facebook, Digital Skills, Women
In the first year of this project, Facebook, in collaboration with CSC Academy, plans to provide tools and digital skills training to more than 250,000 people across over 3,000 villages in 10 states in India. Pixabay

Common Services Centre (CSC), which serves as access point for the delivery of various electronic services to villages in India, on Tuesday announced a partnership with social media giant Facebook to provide digital skill training to women village level entrepreneurs.

In the first year of this project, Facebook, in collaboration with CSC Academy, plans to provide tools and digital skills training to more than 250,000 people across over 3,000 villages in 10 states in India.

“India has made dramatic strides in expanding access to affordable mobile broadband in the last few years. We are excited to partner with CSC Academy to create a programme that will build on this success as well as the outstanding community networks that CSC has built over the years,” Ajit Mohan, Managing Director, Facebook India, said while speaking at the CSC Diwas celebration here.

As part of the project CSC will identify and nominate 5,000 women village level entrepreneurs across 10 states – Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Telangana, Bihar, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

Facebook, Digital Skills, Women
Common Services Centre (CSC), which serves as access point for the delivery of various electronic services to villages in India. Pixabay

These women entrepreneurs will be given training sessions on leveraging various Facebook tools to not just build and grow their business but also on how to train people on the ground.

These entrepreneurs will further help build awareness to ensure that the community is able to learn from each other.

CSC along with Facebook will co-create a curriculum (online and offline) around digital marketing skills and online safety in over 14 regional languages.

“CSC has unleashed entrepreneurs across villages in India, many of them women. With the #DigitalBeti programme, our objective is to arm these village level entrepreneurs with similar digital tool kits that large corporations have access to, and unleash their full potential and their ability to create economic opportunities for themselves and their communities,” Mohan said.

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From just 13,000 women village level entrepreneurs in 2014, today more than 73,000 women entrepreneurs are working across 3.66 lakh CSC centres, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. (IANS)