Facebook says it is preparing for Indian elections by working to limit false stories, videos, and photos on its platform. It says it is tying up with fact checkers and media organisations that are flagging false information and helping reduce its spread. Separately, the company announced that from next week, voters will be able to watch 20-second videos of candidates from their respective constituencies – a feature called ‘Candidate Connect’. Voters will also be able to share the fact they have voted, with a feature called ‘Share You Voted’.
Its assurances come as the Election Commission of India tries to rein in social media giants like Google, Twitter, and Facebook to prevent the spread of politically motivated manipulative information and protect user data.
Indian politicians increasingly are using social media to run campaign advertisements, share political songs and interact with young voters.
Polling in the general election is to take place in stages from April 11 to May 19.
As we mentioned, Facebook on Tuesday also announced two new tools to support voters ahead of the India’s elections – Candidate Connect and Share You Voted.
“While ‘Candidate Connect’, will help people learn more about candidates contesting for Lok Sabha elections from their constituency, ‘Share You Voted’ will provide people with polling information and enable them to announce and celebrate the fact that they have voted,” Facebook said in a statement.
Candidate Connect can be accessed either through a bookmark in settings, or through a message in News Feed, Facebook said. The videos will enable candidates to engage with the electorate, the company added, with candidates able to introduce themselves and highlight how they will address outstanding challenges in their constituencies if elected to office.
On the other hand, Share You Voted allows people to share the fact they have voted, following which posts and photos from people who have voted will then be put together in a collage at the top of peoples’ Facebook Friend’s News Feeds. “This will enable voters to celebrate their casting of the ballot and also encourage others to participate in the voting process,” the company added in its statement. Both tools will be made available in twelve Indian languages.