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Facebook unveils plans to help protect Indian elections

Facebook has revealed a raft of measures it is taking in order to help protect the upcoming Indian General Election. While the social media giant is rolling out its political ad transparency tools such as its Ad Library which it has been deployed in other regions, it is also taking new steps.

In addition to the measures we’ve seen before, Facebook is launching new operation centers in Singapore and Dublin that will work with staff at Menlo Park (Facebook’s HQ) and experts in Delhi. This will strengthen the firm’s global coordination and speed up response times when it comes to combating fake news, misinformation, hate speech, and voter suppression.

Facebook’s AI systems have been improved too, with support added for 24 new languages, including 16 that are spoken in India. The AI can find offending content and take it down in bulk in a short space of time. Another measure taken to stem fake news is notifications for people and Page Admins who share news articles that have been marked as false by fact checkers. This feedback will allow individuals to remove content that they shared which they believed to be real.

Facebook is going to help election candidates bolster their account security too. In a blog post, Ajit Mohan, Managing Director and Vice President for India, said:

“We’ve also created a training process to help policymakers, candidates and their staff improve their cybersecurity and awareness for how their accounts could be hacked or abused. During elections, times of conflict or political turmoil, these accounts can be at higher risk of threats and abuse, so we help them learn how to be proactive and look for signals that their accounts could be harmed.”

Lastly, Facebook has signed up to a voluntary code of ethics for the general elections with the Election Commission of India (ECI). This gives the two bodies a dedicated means of communication in order to more quickly take down content and to run voter education efforts.

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