Micro-blogging platform Twitter has been facing heat from the Indian government ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In a bid to gain the trust of the ministries, the US-based social networking company has said that it has formed an internal, cross functional group to lead its “electoral integrity work” through polling day.
In an official blog post, the company revealed that the team will be using proprietary-built internal tools to protect trends, support partner escalations and identify potential threats from malicious parties.
The company also revealed that they have updated their rules to provide clearer guidance on several key issues such as fake accounts, attributed activity and distribution of hacked materials.
The company also claimed to have developed machine learning tools to identify spammed and automated accounts and take action against them. This move will help the company counter the attempts to manipulate conversations at scale, across languages and time zones, without relying on reactive reports.
Twitter will also be working with the political parties to train them on using social media platform safely. As a part of this process, the company will continue to hold training and workshops with both regional and national parties (such as BJP, INC, CPI, CPI-M) and their respective state units.
Twitter’s Toil And Trouble In India
The social media platform had been under public scrutiny after Twitter cofounder and CEO Jack Dorsey failed to attend the Indian parliamentary hearing held on February 11.
Ahead of the polls, the company has been once again summoned by a panel of MPs to discuss how to protect citizen rights of the Indian users on social media and online news platforms on February 25.
However, it has been reported that Dorsey may once again fail to attend the meet. Twitter head of global public policy and philanthropy, Colin Crowell, is expected to represent the company instead.
Amidst this ongoing tussle, Twitter recently expanded its political ads policy and transparency approach to India, Australia and all European Union member states. The move will enforce stricter policies for political advertisers and providing clear and transparent disclosures of all ads on the platform.
Ahead of the polls, the situation took a political turn in India after many Indian users said that the company was intentionally increasing the number of likes and retweets on posts made by the opposition party including Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Earlier this month, members of a right-wing group called ‘Youth for Social Media Democracy’ had protested outside Twitter’s India office alleging that Twitter has an anti-right wing attitude.
Most recently, the company got slammed by veteran journalist Barkha Dutt whose account was temporarily blocked after she took to the platform to post about men who were allegedly stalking and threatening her.