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NRI votes in panchayat, municipal polls can cater to change: Congress

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Panaji: NRIs can participate in democracy in the true sense only after they are allowed to vote in grassroots elections of representative bodies like panchayat and municipalities, Congress Goa unit president Luizinho Faleiro said on Monday.Voting

Faleiro’s statement came at a time when the union law ministry was examining a legal proposal submitted to it by the Election Commission to allow Non-Resident Indians to vote in the state and general elections by proxy voting and using e-ballot facilities.

“Only by participation in grassroots elections like the ones to panchayat bodies and municipalities can NRIs be truly assimilated in the electoral process of our country,” Faleiro told a press conference here.

Faleiro, a member of the Congress Working Committee, his party’s highest decision-making body, also said the party was in the process of filing a public interest litigation to enable NRI Goans to vote in local elections.

elections-polls-evm-voting

He said there were around 2.5 lakh NRI Goans residing in the Gulf region and another approximately 2.5 lakh NRIs from the state who were settled across the globe, mostly in Canada, Portugal, England, France and some African countries.

Addition of these NRI votes to the existing 10 lakh-odd existing vote base in Goa would change the manner in which politics, governance and elections are conducted, he said.

“The NRIs in many ways are more aware of what’s happening in the state than we are and are more eager for things to change for the better,” Faleiro said. (IANS)

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Twitter Takes Multiple Steps To Curb Misinformation Before Elections in India

More than 80 per cent of the Twitter accounts linked to spread of disinformation

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Twitter, tweets, India
The Twitter logo appears on a phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.. VOA

Twitter is taking “multi-variable” steps, including the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, to curb the spread of misleading information on its platform ahead of 2019 general election in India, Co-Founder and CEO Jack Dorsey said here on Monday.

Addressing a Town Hall-style meeting at the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi (IIT-D), Dorsey said fake news is a way too big category.

“The real problem is not misinformation per se as jokes can also be categorised as misinfomation. But misinformation that is spread with the intent to mislead people is a real problem,” stressed the Twitter CEO who is in India on a week-long maiden visit.

Dorsey, who got a rousing reception at IIT-D with the students wildly cheering the young entrepreneur, likened solving the problem of misleading information to that of addressing a security issue, or building a lock.

Twitter, India
Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on foreign influence operations and their use of social media on Capitol Hill. VOA

“No one can build a perfect lock, but we need to stay ahead of our attackers. AI could probably help,” Dorsey told the audience.

Earlier in the day, the Twitter CEO met Congress President Rahul Gandhi and discussed various steps the social network was taking to curb the spread of fake news and boost healthy conversation on its platform.

Dorsey also met Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama over the weekend. He was also expected to meet Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in the wake of the growing criticism over Twitter’s role in the spread of misinformation and fake news as India faces Assembly polls in five states in November-December ahead of next year’s general elections.

Twitter, India
Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

Twitter, along with other social media platforms, including Facebook, came under intense scrutiny of policymakers in the US for their failure to stop the spread of misinformation by Russia-linked accounts on their platforms during the 2016 Presidential election.

The micro-blogging site since then has stepped up its efforts to curb the spread of divisive messages and fake news on its platform.

To further protect the integrity of elections, Twitter recently announced that it would now delete fake accounts engaged in a variety of emergent, malicious behaviour.

India, elections
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses the gathering during the ‘Global Mobility Summit’ in New Delhi, India, VOA

As part of the new rules, accounts that deliberately mimic or are intended to replace accounts that were previously suspended for violating rules may be identified as fake accounts, Twitter said recently.

Also Read: Twitter Giving Its Users More Freedom to Report Fake, Suspicious Accounts

However, according to a Knight Foundation study released in October, more than 80 per cent of the Twitter accounts linked to spread of disinformation during the 2016 US election are still active. (IANS)