Preparing for the biggest event in the democracy of India, Facebook is blocking or removing approximately one million accounts per day.
With the 17th Lok Sabha elections just three days away Facebook India’s managing director and vice president Ajit Mohan said in a blog post that, “We’ve also gotten better at using artificial intelligence and machine learning to fight interference. For example, these tools help us block or remove approximately one million accounts a day. They also help us, at a large scale, identify abusive or violating content, quickly locate it across the platform and remove it in bulk.”
In the blogpost he said, “our family of apps continue our efforts to help make sure the elections are fair and free from interference, both foreign and domestic.”
“One of the most important new product changes we’ve launched in this effort is our political ad transparency tools, giving people a clearer picture of who is placing the ads they see. Anyone who wants to run an ad in India related to politics has to first confirm their identity and location, and give more details about who paid for or published the ad. We then run the ad with a ‘Paid for by’ or ‘Published by’ disclaimer and house it in a searchable Ad Library for seven years,” he said in the blogpost.
The social media giant is also activating new regional operations centers, focused on election integrity situated in Singapore and Dublin. These teams include engineers, operations specialists and data scientists, and will work closely with staff in our Menlo Park, CA headquarters, as well as with local experts in Delhi.
Last week, the social media platform removed nearly 700 Pages, Groups and accounts in India for violating Facebook’s policies on coordinated inauthentic behaviour and spam.
Facebook has also expanded its partnerships with third-party fact-checkers to seven accredited organizations in India. These groups cover eight of the most spoken languages — English, Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Gujarati — and Facebook is looking to add more.
“This partnership work extends to other media groups, as well — such as Indian Institute of Mass Communication and the Asian College of Journalism — to develop training workshops on digital literacy, including how to spot false news and identify misinformation during election campaigns,” the blogpost read.
On March 6, a parliamentary panel of the Indian government summoned Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram representatives to scrutinise the steps taken by these social media companies ahead of General Elections in May 2019. The discussions were led on the topic of safeguarding citizens rights on social/online news media platforms.