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Facebook chose veteran journalist Natasha Jog to lead election integrity in India


Facebook has been filling up vacant posts of executives in India over the past few months. After hiring Ajit Mohan as local Managing Director, the social networking giant has roped in Natasha Jog as its election integrity lead for India.

Facebook has been scouting to hire the aforementioned post for about four months as it eyes to prevent negative and bias influence in the upcoming general election.

Jog will report to Facebook’s public policy director, global elections – Katie Harbath, reports Economic Times citing sources. Three months ago, the firm had hired BBC senior digital strategist Trushar Barot to lead Facebook India fight against fake news.

Jog had a long stint at NDTV that spanned for over 18 years across various roles including senior news anchor and editor. She had resigned from the country’s leading television news channel in July 2018.

Her appointment along with Barot is a major step in addressing the Election Commission’s escalating concern over possible misuse of Facebook in the electoral process.

With an estimated 300 million users in India, Facebook is a political battleground among parties for promotion and peddling propaganda. It had faced allegations and outcry of manipulation in the election in the US and Brazil.

Meanwhile, the Mark Zuckerberg-led company has been investing heavily in artificial intelligence and hiring specialised workforce to check violence and abuse of the platform.

For instance, it has hired more than 20,000 people this year to work on safety and security.  In India, it’s establishing a task force comprising “hundreds of people” to prevent bad actors from abusing Facebook.

To bring more transparency in political ads, the firm had come up with a searchable Political Ads Library in India. Besides, from February 21, people will also be able to see country locations of users who manage Facebook pages that carry political ads.

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