Our Steps to Protect State Elections in India
Today, with elections ongoing across Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam, Kerala and Puducherry, we are setting out further information on the measures that we are implementing to support and protect these important elections. Based on lessons we’ve learned from past elections in India and globally, we are taking steps to enhance civic engagement, combat hate speech, limit misinformation and remove voter suppression. We also continue to closely partner with election authorities, including to set up a high priority channel to remove content that breaks our rules or is against local law after receiving valid legal orders.
Combating Hate Speech and Demoting Likely Hate Speech
We have a detailed policy against hate speech, and we remove violating content as soon as we become aware of it. To decrease the risk of problematic content going viral in these states and potentially inciting violence ahead of or during the election, we will significantly reduce the distribution of content that our proactive detection technology identifies as likely hate speech or violence and incitement. This content will be removed if determined to violate our policies, but its distribution will remain reduced until that determination is made.
Third-Party Fact-Checking to Limit Misinformation
As part of our efforts to tackle misinformation, we work with third-party fact-checkers around the world, including eight partners in India who are certified by the International Fact-Checking Network, to provide people with additional context about the content they’re seeing on Facebook In addition to English, these eight partners fact-check in 11 Indian languages including Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam and Assamese. When a fact-checker rates a story as false, we label the content and show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution.
Voter Suppression Policy Reinforcement
We also remove offers to buy or sell votes with cash or gifts. Additionally, we also remove explicit claims that you will contract COVID-19 if you vote. “Don’t go to the polls today, everyone will get COVID-19” or “If you want to guarantee catching COVID, go vote today!”
Voluntary Code of Ethics with the Election Commission of India
In 2019, led by the industry body IAMAI, we had set up a high priority channel with ECI for Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, to receive content-related escalations.
Enhanced Civic Engagement
We believe Facebook has an important part to play in creating an informed community, and helping people access all the information they need to take part in the democratic process. We also remind people to exercise their democratic right to vote.
Apr 07, 2021 at 20:17