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Meta And Google Get Ready For Lok Sabha Polls

By Shivani Shinde
March 30, 2024 09:25 IST
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Meta is working closely with the Election Commission. This enables the Commission to flag unlawful content.

IMAGE: Bharatiya Janata Party women workers celebrate as Nitin Gadkari is on his way to file nomination papers for the Lok Sabha elections in Nagpur, March 27, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

Mark Zuckerberg-led Meta, which runs Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp among other platforms, will activate an India-specific operations centre ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

The objective is to identify potential threats and put specific mitigations in place across its apps and technologies as India gets ready for elections.

The company is also strengthening its fact-checker team in the country and working on steps to arrest misuse of AI-generated content.

In a blog on Tuesday, the Menlo Park-headquartered company said it would make efforts to limit misinformation, remove voter interference and enhance transparency and accountability across its platforms to support free and fair elections.

Spread over 44 days, elections in India will be held in seven phases from April 19 to June 1.

A few days ago in a similar move, search major Google had listed out steps to prevent misinformation during elections.

This included restricting Gemini, its AI platform, to answer any queries directly related to Indian elections.

Meta is bringing together experts from diverse teams such as intelligence, data science, engineering, research, operations, content policy and legal for the initiative.

'We are continuing to expand our network of independent fact-checkers in the country we now have 11 partners across India covering 16 languages, making it one of our largest networks for a country,' said the company.

For the previous elections, Meta had seven fact-checker partners.

Globally the company works with over 40,000 people on safety and security, with more than $20 billion invested since 2016.

This includes 15,000 content reviewers who review content across Facebook, Instagram, and Threads in more than 70 languages including 20 Indian languages.

The company plans to make use of keyword detection to make it easier for fact-checkers to find and rate misinformation.

'Our fact checking partners are also being onboarded to our new research tool, Meta Content Library, which has a powerful search capability to support them in their work.

'Indian fact checking partners are the first amongst our global network of fact checkers to have access to Meta Content Library,' said the company.

The American social media giant is working closely with the Election Commission of India via the Voluntary Code of Ethics. This enables the Commission to flag unlawful content.

The other focus area during this election is content created with generative AI.

Starting this year, Meta also requires advertisers globally to disclose when they use AI or digital methods to create or alter a political or social issue ad in certain cases.

This applies if the ad contains a photorealistic image or video, or realistic sounding audio, that was digitally created or altered to depict a real person as saying or doing something they did not say or do.

This has also been mandated by the Indian law makers. The ministry of electronics and information and technology (MeitY) had a few months back asked big techs to water-mark or create systems that can detect content created using AI deepfakes.

Moreover, independent fact-checkers on Meta's list will review and rate AI generated content.

They can rate a piece of content as altered , which includes faked, manipulated or transformed audio, video, or photos.

As for Google, its blog post had stated: 'Out of an abundance of caution on such an important topic, we have begun to roll out restrictions on the types of election-related queries for which Gemini will return responses.

'We take our responsibility for providing high-quality information for these types of queries seriously, and are continuously working to improve our protections.'

It also spoke about strengthening its fact checking ecosystem in India.

'Last year, we were the first tech company to launch new disclosure requirements for election ads containing synthetic content Our ad policies already prohibit the use of manipulated media to mislead people, like deepfakes or doctored content,' said the blog.

On images, Google has talked about ensuring embedded watermarking with DeepMind's SynthID.

Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/

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Shivani Shinde
Source: source
India Votes 2024

India Votes 2024