New Delhi: Keeping in view of upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, the Facebook on Saturday said it is establishing a task force comprising hundreds of people in the country to prevent bad actors from abusing its platform. The announcement was made by Facebook’s Vice President for Global Policy Solutions Richard Allan.
Addressing the media, he said, “With the 2019 elections coming, we are pulling together a group of specialists to work together with political parties. “The task force for India will have security specialists and content specialists, among others, who will try to understand all the possible forms of election-related abuse in India,” added Allan during a workshop on Facebook’s “community standards” in the capital.
Allan explained that while the disinformation linked to real-world violence is checked by the team mandated to maintain Facebook’s community standards, other forms of disinformation are handled by a different team of fact checkers. (ALSO READ: EC Announces Assembly Poll Dates For 5 States, Results on Dec 11)
“The challenge for the task force in India would be to distinguish between real political news and political propaganda,” Allan noted, adding that the team would be very much based in the country and would consist of both existing human resources working on these issues within the company and new recruits.
Facebook came under the intense scrutiny of policymakers in the US after allegations of Russia-linked accounts using the social networking platform to spread divisive messages during the 2016 presidential election surfaced.
Since then, it has stepped up efforts to check abuse of its platform by bringing in more transparency in the conduct of its businesses, including in advertisement policies.
In May this year, Facebook had announced that all election-related ads on Facebook and Instagram in the US must be clearly labeled — including a “Paid for by” disclosure from the advertiser at the top of the ad.
When users click on the label, they would be taken to an archive with more information such as the campaign budget associated with an individual ad and how many people saw it – including their age, location, and gender, Facebook had said. The social media giant later introduced the transparency feature in Brazil. The introduction of the same feature in India would help users identify political propaganda easily. In April, Zuckerberg said Facebook will ensure that its platform is not misused to influence elections in India and elsewhere.