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    Facebook to Set Up 'Operations Centre' to Fight Fake News in Indian Elections

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    The company intends to take the directives of the Indian Election Commission for fighting the menace of fake news and online abuse in earnest.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): After the US and Brazil, Facebook is now planning to have a "war room" to curb the spread of misinformation ahead of the parliamentary elections in India. The social media company's control centre in India is likely to be based on the pattern of its original war room in the US. The centre is being set up in India to put a lid on fake news on its platform during the upcoming national elections, a report by Indian newspaper Mint said.

    READ MORE: Manipulating User Info to Political Ends on Facebook, Google a 'Serious Problem

    "The social media giant's Delhi operations centre will coordinate with its offices at Menlo Park (US), Dublin, Ireland and Singapore to monitor election content round the clock", the report read.

    Facebook is aiming to engage with the Election Commission of India (EC) to help ensure that the general election is safe from potential abuse and spread of misinformation that may be facilitated by using its platform. Multiple cross-functional teams will look at various aspects of the platform including content. Some teams will work closely with the EC, the Mint reported Shivnath Thukral, the Facebook director of public policy (India and South Asia), as saying.

    READ MORE: Politicians' Popularity on FB Does Not Necessarily Convert Into Votes — Study

    Similar control centres were built by Facebook ahead of the mid-term elections in the US and during the Brazilian elections.

    Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora on Sunday, while announcing dates for Indian parliamentary elections, said that social media platforms would deploy fact-checkers to scan fake news and use of abusive language. The Facebook move seems to be a step along the lines of the CEC directives.

    #IANSExplainer: With the #ElectionCommission outlining stringent guidelines for #socialmedia usage during #elections, #PoliticalParties & candidates won't be able to post unverified #ads, photographs of defence personnel, hate speeches & #FakeNews on their accounts.

    Mark Zuckerberg-led Facebook has been facing the heat of regulatory backlash from Indian authorities, with several warnings to crack down on fake news on its platform. Additionally, in February, a parliamentary panel had summoned representatives of the company, from its stand-alone messaging service WhatsApp and from its photo-sharing app Instagram to appear before it and discuss how to safeguard citizens' rights on social media.


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    fake news, social media, elections, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, India
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