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Facebook removing 1 MILLION abusive accounts per day before Indian elections

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1 million abusive, misinformative posts regarding Indian elections are being taken down from Facebook per day. Facebook India’s Managing Director and Vice President Ajit Mohan said in a blogpost.

Facebook is blocking or removing posts using artificial intelligence and machine learning as India prepares for battle 2019 (17th Lok Sabha). To strengthen its system Facebook has added 24 new languages to its automatic translation system, 16 of them are Indian languages.

“This dramatically reduces its ability to spread. We continue to expand on this initiative,” Mohan wrote. Facebook has been working on Indian elections for the past 18 months, dozens of teams across the globe have been working on securing Indian elections, Mohan added.

“The findings allowed us to concentrate our work on key areas, including blocking and removing fake accounts; fighting the spread of misinformation; stopping abuse by domestic actors; spotting attempts at foreign meddling, and taking action against inauthentic coordinated campaigns,” he wrote in the post.

He emphasised that Facebook and its family of apps were working towards making sure that elections (both foreign & domestic) are fair and free from interference. Facebook will be activating new regional operations centres, focused on elections in Singapore and Dublin, these teams will be working with experts in Delhi and together they will be working in tandem with its staff in headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

“This structure helps strengthen our global coordination and speed our response times, adding another layer of defence against false news, misinformation, hate speech and voter suppression,” wrote Mohan, who took charge as Facebook’s India head earlier this year.

He said Facebook has gotten better at using artificial intelligence and machine learning to fight interference, and tools such as artificial intelligence and machine learning helps the company, at a large scale, identify abusive or violating content, quickly locate it across the platform and remove it in bulk, dramatically reducing its ability to spread.

He also touched upon the much talked about political ad transparency tools, which gives users a clear picture of who is placing ads on the platform.
He said Facebook expanded its partnerships with third-party fact-checkers to seven accredited organizations in India. These groups cover eight of the most spoken languages – English, Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Gujarati – and Facebook is looking to add more.

He said Facebook also created a training process to help policymakers, candidates and their staff improve their cybersecurity and awareness for how their accounts could be hacked or abused.

“During elections, times of conflict or political turmoil, these accounts can be at higher risk of threats and abuse, so we help them learn how to be proactive and look for signals that their accounts could be harmed.” he wrote.

To make Indian elections free and fair Facebook has been in constant in touch with the Indian government & the Election Commission, even training officers associated with the election commission on digital literacy, including how to spot false news and identify misinformation during election campaigns.

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