The company is working to combat the influx of fake news it expects ahead of the 2019 General Elections in India. In April, Facebook partnered with BOOM (an independent journalism initiative) to bolster its efforts to control manipulated posts including photos and videos on Facebook. The platform wants to clamp down on fake posts. The company has a large team of content moderators that will be working round the clock to blacklist any fake news content as quickly as possible.
Facebook’s partnership with AFP has been certified through Pynter Institute’s non-partisan International Fact Checking Network. The key objective of the partnership is to combat misinformation and engage the users in the Facebook community with authentic content. The platform will continue to find partners to expand the reach of its program.
WhatsApp, the messaging service owned by Facebook has also been under fire especially in India for not been able to prevent rumors and fake news. The platforms have unfortunately earned a reputation of being a medium to spread rumors and post sensitive content to incite violence. Both Facebook and WhatsApp are now taking strong steps to curb the misuse of technology through their platforms.
The government has issued notices to these platforms to implement necessary measures to curb the circulation of misinformation.
Manish Khanduri, Facebook News Partners Head for India said,
“One of our key objectives is to engage and combat misinformation and broadly that has been a part of our efforts for a while now. AFP is becoming a part of third-party fact-checkers and will essentially bolster efforts to crackdown on misinformation. We will continue to seek partners, we will continue to expand the programme.”
While explaining the detailed process of its fact-checker program, Khaduri said that if a story is rated false by the fact-checker, it will score low ranking in Facebook News Feed. This will help the platform in reducing the reach of the news, which will in-turn stop the hoax from spreading like wildfire like it has happened on many previous occasions.
Facebook runs similar initiatives in countries like France, Italy, Netherlands, Mexico, Germany, Indonesia, Philippines, and the US. It is now expanding the program to India.