New Delhi: The following of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on social media platforms has hit a 3.8 million mark which does not include the missions abroad.
MEA’s monthly following on Facebook is 15 million and 17.5 million on Twitter while the followers of Indian Diplomacy facebook page and MEA India facebook page have increased considerably to 8,17,513 and 11,91, 214 respectively.
The number of people adding the MEA India G+ page to their inner circles is fast expanding and has crossed 7,83,768, according to the Ministry’s annual report.
The Indian diplomacy Twitter account and the official spokesperson’s twitter account have a combined followership of 10,32,930.
The Ministry in order to increase its presence on social media platforms has roped in missions and posts abroad to communicate directly with the local population of the host countries as well as the Indian diaspora.
At present, around 149 Indian missions around the world (95%) have a Facebook presence. They have been standardized under one title example: ”India in USA”, “India in Ireland”.
The accounts are used to put information about India like investments in India, participation in programmes such as ”Make in India” , “Digital India” and also about a particular embassy activity of a country. More than 90 missions and posts are also active on Twitter. The ministry is working to standardize names on Twitter as well.
The number of viewers of documentaries and films on Indian diplomacy Youtube channel has also increased to 63,81,147. The Flickr account is a good ‘repository’ of photos of major events of the ministry.
Facebook has dismissed a media report that claimed journalists working as factcheckers for the social media giant are frustrated and are ending partnerships as the company failed to use their expertise to combat misinformation.
A report in The Guardian on Thursday said outside reporters have lost trust in Facebook, “which has repeatedly refused to release meaningful data about the impacts of their work”.
Reacting to the report, Meredith Carden, Head of News Integrity Partnerships at Facebook, said the Guardian story presents several inaccuracies.
“Contrary to a claim in the story, we absolutely do not ask fact-checkers to prioritise debunking content about our advertisers,” Carden said in statement.
The report, she added, is based primarily on the account of a single fact-checker who has not been involved with the Facebook fact-checking program for six months.
“We have been committed to fighting misinformation for years now and have strong relationships with our third-party fact-checking partners — we now have 35 partners in 24 countries around the world,” said Facebook.
The report quoted Brooke Binkowski, former managing editor of Snopes, a factchecking site that has partnered with Facebook for two years, as saying that the social network is using journalists for handling crisis PR.
“They’re not taking anything seriously. They are more interested in making themselves look good and passing the buck… They clearly don’t care,” said Binkowski, who now runs her own fact-checking site which does not partner with Facebook.
According to Facebook, it values the ongoing partnerships and the work that these journalists do.
The third-party fact checking programme was launched in 2016 after the US Presidential election.
“We’re planning to expand the programme to even more countries in 2019,” said Carden.
According to Facebook, three separate researches have found that the overall volume of false news on Facebook is decreasing since it put up third-party fact-checking programme and other anti-misinformation measures in place.
However, The Guardian report said the company has ignored journalists’ concerns.
Some newsroom leaders said “they had grown increasingly resentful of Facebook, especially following revelations that the company had paid a consulting firm to go after opponents by publicising their association with billionaire Jewish philanthropist George Soros”.
A New York Times investigation in November suggested that the social network hired a Republican-owned political consulting and PR firm that “dug up dirt on its competitors” including Soros.