Monday March 18, 2019
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Facebook To Monitor India’s Election, Launches Transparency Tools

Facebook last month said that it will start to show a disclaimer on all political ads in India that provides more information about who's placing the ad

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Facebook, India, Fake News, Hate Speech, Russia, digital
A Facebook panel is seen during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, in Cannes, France. VOA

As India faces elections in a couple of months, Facebook said it will launch transparency tools for electoral ads next month in the country to help prevent foreign interference and make political and issue advertising on its platform more transparent.

According to a report in Quartz on Tuesday, the social media giant will work to monitor threats to the upcoming India elections from an operations centre in Singapore.

“The Singapore office will be a hub for the team managing threats to the Indian election,” a senior employee of Facebook India was quoted as saying.

Facebook, social media
Facebook also kills over 300 Russia-linked fake accounts, Pages, (VOA)

Earlier, in a blog post last Monday, Facebook said that advertisers will need to be authorised to purchase political ads and the social networking giant will give people more information about ads related to politics and issues.

“We will create a publicly searchable library of these ads for up to seven years. The library will include information on the range of the ads’ budget, number of people they reached and demographics of who saw the ad, including age, gender and location,” Samidh Chakrabarti, Director of Product Management, Civic Engagement at Facebook, said in the blog post.

Facebook said it is planning to set up two new regional operations centres, focused on election integrity, located in its Dublin and Singapore offices.

Facebook, data
Facebook staring at bigger problems this year, warns analyst. VOA

“This will allow our global teams to better work across regions in the run-up to elections.

“These teams will add a layer of defence against fake news, hate speech and voter suppression, and will work cross-functionally with our threat intelligence, data science, engineering, research, community operations, legal and other teams,” explained Katie Harbath, Global Politics and Government Outreach Director at Facebook.

The company said it will continue to expand its third-party fact-checking programme which covers content in 16 languages.

“We have rolled out the ability for fact-checkers to review photos and videos in addition to article links, because we know multimedia-based misinformation is making up a greater share of false news,” said Facebook.

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

The company said it will organise a series of workshops over the next six months in Singapore, Delhi, Nairobi, Berlin, New York, Mexico City and others, inviting experts and organisations who work issues such as free expression, technology and democracy, procedural fairness and human rights.

Also Read: Facebook Tightens Rules For Paid Ads, Creates Oversight Board

Facebook last month said that it will start to show a disclaimer on all political ads in India that provides more information about who’s placing the ad, and an online searchable Ad Library for anyone to access.

“Now anyone who wants to run an ad in India related to politics will need to first confirm their identity and location, and give more details about who placed the ad,” said Sarah Clark Schiff, Product Manager at Facebook. (IANS)

Next Story

WhatsApp and NASSCOM To Come Up With Digital Literacy Training To Curb Fake News

"This training educates people throughout India to be mindful of the messages they receive and to verify the facts before forwarding,"

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whatsapp
The first training will be on March 27 in Delhi and will be followed by more planned interventions like hosting training workshops for representatives from rural and urban areas along with roadshows across numerous colleges. Pixabay

As part of the partnership, WhatsApp and NASSCOM Foundation will train nearly 1,00,000 Indians to spot false information and provide tips and tricks to stay safe on WhatsApp.

The co-created curriculum, which includes real-world anecdote tools that can be used to verify a forwarded message and actions that users can take like reporting problematic content to fact checkers and other law enforcement agencies, will be disseminated in multiple regional languages.

“We are excited to expand our partnerships with civil society to advance crucial digital literacy skills that can help combat misinformation share on WhatsApp,” Abhijit Bose, Head of India, WhatsApp, said in a statement.

“This training educates people throughout India to be mindful of the messages they receive and to verify the facts before forwarding,” he added.

The training will be imparted by volunteers from NASSCOM Foundation who will launch the “each one teach three” campaign that mandates every volunteer to share their learnings with three more persons leading to a network effect.

These volunteers will post their takeaways from the workshops on their social media handles to increase the reach of these safety messages.

whatsapp

As part of the partnership, WhatsApp and NASSCOM Foundation will train nearly 1,00,000 Indians to spot false information and provide tips and tricks to stay safe on WhatsApp.
Pixabay

The first training will be on March 27 in Delhi and will be followed by more planned interventions like hosting training workshops for representatives from rural and urban areas along with roadshows across numerous colleges.

“The use of technology platforms like WhatsApp are inherently meant to foster social good, harmony, and collaboration, but are sadly being used by a small number of miscreants to entice anger and hatred by spreading false and doctored information,” Ashok Pamidi, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, said.

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“This training educates people throughout India to be mindful of the messages they receive and to verify the facts before forwarding,” he added. Pixabay

Also Read: New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Claims, Cabinet Has Given Nod to Reform Gun Law

“I would like to urge all the connected citizens who want to join this fight against the spread of fake information, to come and help volunteer towards the cause,” Pamidi added.

Aspiring volunteers can register at www.mykartavya.nasscomfoundation.org

NASSCOM Foundation is the social arm of the industry body, National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM). (IANS)