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To Ensure Safe Elections, ShareChat Suspends 54K Accounts For Violating Guidelines

To Ensure Safe Elections, ShareChat Suspends 54K Accounts For Violating Guidelines

The homegrown social network also removed over 487,000 pieces of content

ShareChat removed accounts which were indulging in the sharing of harmful or abusive content

ShareChat had signed a voluntary code of ethics ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections

Following Facebook and Twitter, Bengaluru-based vernacular social and content platform ShareChat has removed over 487K pieces of content and removed 54,404 accounts since February for violating its community guidelines and terms of use.

With the Lok Sabha elections currently underway in India, the platform has intensified efforts to police content being shared by users and ensure that it is not used for voter suppression or misinformation campaigns.

According to the company, it specifically targeted accounts indulging in the sharing of harmful or abusive content, engaging in disruptive behaviour and those using the platform in a way that was violative of the terms of use.

About 13,195 pieces of content which were removed were from the politics and news section for violating community guidelines. Of these, around 6431 pieces of content were taken down for sharing factually-inaccurate content, as determined by fact-checking agency

“We work constantly to be the social media platform of choice for millions of Indians who would like to share and view content in their preferred language. And therefore, we are focused towards ensuring that our platform is not misused by bad actors. We have invested resources to ensure our AI tools as well human reviewers are well trained in order to effectively detect and stall harmful behaviour on our platform,” said Berges Y Malu, head of policy at ShareChat.

ShareChat was also one of the internet companies to sign and adopted a voluntary code of ethics to support the Election Commission of India (ECI) to ensure a free and fair election process.

Earlier this month, Facebook had removed over 1,000 pages, groups and accounts for violating its policies through ‘coordinated inauthentic behaviour’. Some of these pages were believed to have links in Pakistan. It also claimed to have been blocking or removing approximately 1 Mn accounts per day.

In March, major social media platforms and Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) had submitted the “Voluntary Code of Ethics for the General Election 2019”  to create a high priority dedicated reporting mechanism for the Election Commission of India and appoint dedicated teams during the period of General Elections for taking expeditious action on any reported violations.

In order to comply with the ruling, ShareChat had also conducted a training session for ECI appointed nodal officers in New Delhi which included methods through which the ECI could report potentially unlawful content for expeditious redressal.

Founded in 2015 by Farid Ahsan, Bhanu Singh and Ankush Sachdeva, ShareChat is primarily a social network for speakers of Indian regional languages. Just like many other social networks, it lets users create, discover, and share content in their regional languages and has features such anonymous chat, direct messaging, and original video content under the banner of ShareChat Talkies.

ShareChat is available in 14 regional languages and has gained immense popularity in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. A report by App Annie showed that ShareChat’s daily active users stayed at 5 Mn for the last quarter of 2018.

In March, the company was in initial talks to raise $200 Mn at a valuation of $600 Mn – $700 Mn in the round in order to fight the intense competition from China-based TikTok.