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Facebook sets up round-the-clock team to track fake content during Indian elections


To keep an eye on objectionable content and fake news on a real-time basis, Facebook has set up a quick response team in Singapore. The team will work closely with the Election Commission of India, informed an official of the social networking giant.

Facebook, which had come under severe criticism for its inability to curb the misuse of its platform to circulate fake news in past by several governments, had started preparing for the Indian general elections almost a year ago. It has set a product team in the US.

This extremely unusual measure should be seen in the light of importance the company attaches to the country like India where it has close to 300 million subscribers, informed the official in an interview to ET.

Besides setting up the product team, many of Facebook’s tools and products have been revamped and localised, keeping the upcoming elections in mind.  

The company pioneered this concept during the US and Brazilian elections and brought in a cross-functional team that can make quick decisions. Besides Singapore, it’s extending this globally and launching new centres in Dublin as well.

In addition, Facebook has also launched an exclusive feature for India – ‘Candidate Connect’. This new feature will allow India’s Lok Sabha candidates to record their election manifesto in the form of 20-second videos and share it with their constituents.  

Facebook will ask a set of four questions to the candidates who can then post their 20-second response videos to each of these queries.

Last week, global and Indian social media outlets had agreed to follow a ‘voluntary code’ on taking down ‘problematic content’ and bringing ‘transparency in political advertising’. Almost a third of India’s 900 million voters are active on social media, making this one of the world’s biggest ever attempts to monitor internet content. 

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