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IT minister warns Facebook for manipulating upcoming elections [Is it hogwash?]

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Minister for information technology Ravi Shankar Prasad has threatened to take a strong stand against Facebook if it tries to manipulate an upcoming electoral process that will decide new central government.

The minister said that the misuse of social media cannot be tolerated when it comes to maintaining the sanctity, transparency, and fairness of elections. Interestingly, Shankar’s stand has come out in media after #CambridgeAnalytica

The Rajya Sabha member from Bihar also pointed out that ahead of 2019 elections, there would be many avenues along the lines of alleged favorable practices in the last US election for president.

Several global media reports have been surfacing every now and then revealing indulgence of a British political data analytics company Cambridge Analytica in influencing the voters’ psychology towards the Republican Party (Donald Trump).

Alexander Kogan, the university researcher who had developed the app through which the data of 50 million users was allegedly breached has said that neither the breach of data nor any inappropriate kind of work has been done.

Both the US and UK authorities have already begun a probe in the entire episode. Even Facebook is probing the entire matter at its end.

Importantly, connecting dots in establishing a liaison between BJP-led central government and the political analytic firm, ALT News co-founder, Pratik Sinha has tweeted: Himanshu Sharma of Ovleno which is a sister concern of Cambridge Analytica is scrubbing his profile of links with BJP’s Mission 272 but the Internet doesn’t forget.

The Lok Sabha and assembly elections which are scheduled for 2019 may witness social media abuse as most of the political parties tend to use the social media platforms including Facebook for influencing voter’s mindset.

“The recent data theft from Facebook has rocked the world. These types of incidents can happen in other places as well and Facebook users can influence the electoral process through undesirable means,” says Shankar.

Also Read: VSS continues tirade against Facebook and WhatsApp UPI, fears country’s financial data leak

Meanwhile, Cambridge Analytica has suspended its board of directors’ CEO Alexander Nix after the political upheaval in the US.

Facebook has however confirmed that it has tightened its controls on such practices since it discovered the alleged abuses by the Cambridge Analytica, but the recent issue has rocked the involving companies as well as some political parties across the world.

The development was first reported by ET

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