U.S. Tech Giants Promise Tougher Actions to Fight Fake News in IndiaSci-Tech

November 13, 2018 17:28
U.S. Tech Giants Promise Tougher Actions to Fight Fake News in India

(Image source from: The Financial Express)

The three tech giants based in the United States - Facebook, Google, and Twitter - on Monday assured to do more in order to fight fake news in India while refusing to provide any definite timeline for bringing stringent actions that could eliminate the menace of fake news from their platform.

The three executives said the fake news was not in the interest of their business.

Manish Khanduri, Head of Facebook News Partnership in India, said the social networking giant would strengthen its partnerships with third-party fact checkers to curb misinformation.

Facebook, ahead of the 2019 general elections in India, was partnering with global news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) to perform fact checking, Khanduri said.

"We are increasing the number of third-party fact checkers and we are also reaching out to various policymakers and law enforcement officers to ensure how best this platform could be used," Khanduri said while responding to a question on what Facebook was doing to safeguard the 2019 India polls.

Facebook has as well taken several measures to arrest the virality of misinformation on its platform, he said.

Khanduri, however, did not unwrap anything on what the company was doing to assist trace the beginning of fake news and rumors spread with the purpose of harming people on popular Facebook-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp.

In India, more than 30 lynching incidents have up to now been linked to rumors on various social media platforms.

Irene Jay Liu, who leads Google News Lab in the Asia-Pacific region, said the company was focusing on training and upskilling people in India in a bid to help them spot fake news.

The tech giant in June proclaimed the launch of the Google News Initiative Training Network in India in partnership with DataLeads, BoomLive, and Internews.

This training network intents to support journalists from across India in their combat against fake news, rendering in-depth and hands-on verification training to 8,000 journalists across English and six other Indian languages over the next one year.

Vijaya Gadde, Legal, Policy and Trust & Safety Lead at Twitter, said the micro-blogging platform was working to bring in more transparency to political advertisements on the platform.

Responding to a question, she also said that Twitter would also consider measures for making it easier for people to report fake news on its platform.

The event was held as part of BBC's "Beyond Fake News" - a series across TV, radio and digital that aims to investigate how disinformation and fake news are affecting people around the world.

A study authorized by the BBC World Service which was published on Monday revealed that fake news was fast diffusing in India owing to a "rising tide of nationalism".

Earlier in the day, speaking at a town-hall at IIT Delhi, Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey said that misinformation itself was not a problem, but information intended to mislead people was.

-Sowmya Sangam

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India  social media  fake news  Facebook