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Google, Facebook, Twitter Promise Tougher Action to Fight Fake News from India

November 13, 2018
Internews is partnering with the Google News Initiative Training Network in India to train journalists in news verification.

Three US tech giants – Google, Facebook and Twitter – on Monday promised to do more to fight news in India, while refusing to provide any definite timeline for Attracting tougher actions that May Remove the menace of Bogus Information out of their Own Platform.

Participating in a panel discussion hosted by BBC’s Matthew Amroliwala in the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi, the representatives of the three leading technology companies outlined the actions they were taking to fight misinformation about their various platforms.

Fake news, the three executives stated, weren’t in the interest of the businesses.

Manish Khanduri, Head of Facebook News Partnership in India, said the social networking giant could strengthen its partnerships with third party checkers to curb misinformation.

Ahead of this 2019 general elections in India, Facebook was teaming up with international news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) to do fact checking, Khanduri said.

“We’re increasing the number of third party fact checkers and we’re also reaching out to different policy makers and law enforcement officers to ensure how best this platform could be utilized,” Khanduri said while reacting to a question on which Facebook was performing to safeguard the 2019 India polls.

Facebook has also taken several steps to arrest the virality of misinformation on its platform, he said.

Khanduri, but didn’t disclose anything about what the business was doing to help trace the source of bogus news and rumours spread with the aim of harming people on popular immediate messaging platform WhatsApp, which is possessed by Facebook.

More than 30 lynching events in India have been connected to rumours on various social networking platforms.

Irene Jay Liu, who directs Google News Lab in the Asia-Pacific area, said the company was focusing on training and upskilling individuals in India in an attempt to help them place fake news.

The tech giant in June announced the launch of the Google News Initiative Training Network in India in partnership with BoomLive, DataLeads, and Internews.

This coaching network intends to encourage journalists from across India in their fight against misinformation, providing hands-on and in-depth confirmation training to 8,000 journalists across English and six other Indian languages over the next one year.

Vijaya Gadde, Legal, Policy and Trust & Safety Lead at Twitter, said the micro-blogging platform has been working to bring in greater transparency to political advertisements on the stage.

Responding to a query, she also said that Twitter would also consider measures for making it much easier for people to report fake news on its own platform.

The event was held as part of BBC’s Beyond Fake News – a string across TV, radio and electronic that intends to investigate how disinformation and fake news are affecting people around the world.

A research commissioned by the BBC World Service and published on Monday demonstrated that fake news was fast spreading in India owing to a”rising tide of nationalism”.

Earlier in the afternoon, talking at a town-hall at IIT Delhi, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said that misinformation itself wasn’t a problem, but information intended to mislead individuals was.