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Facebook improves and Expands its Fact-Checking Network





Facebook said thus- “Facebook Inc has plans of expanding their fact-checking network in India with the aim of curbing the widespread of misinformation at the time when India, the world’s largest democracy has been preparing for a general election which will be held in May.

Facebook India’s news partnership head, Manish Khanduri, in a statement said- “We are committed to fighting against the spread of false news on Facebook, especially just before the 2019 General Election campaign season.

The upcoming election is being expected to be a close battle between Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as well as the opposition Congress Party and their regional allies.

The latest move in order to strengthen the fact-checking programme will be aiming at verifying the accuracy of stories as well as prevent spreading hoaxes.

Five new partners, which includes the India Today Group, that is a leading local media house, have been added to Facebook’s fact-checker network, and this has increased the network size to seven.

The programme has broadened so as to cover their services in many Indian languages, and currently, it will cover English as well as five other local languages.

India has remained as Facebook’s largest market of users, and their instant messaging service WhatsApp has more than 200 million users in the country all thanks to the growing network of cheap phones and increased penetration of these smartphones among people.  

Apart from concerns regarding misuse of social media for political purposes, Facebook has been criticized for spreading false news and information, incendiary messages which fanned communal tensions between people as well as sparking mob violence.

Last year, a series of lynchings occurred due to the messages sent over Whatsapp, and the service cut down the number of people/groups a message could be forwarded to. It was 20 previously and was reduced to 5. This norm will soon be seen all over the world.  

Facebook’s main competitor in India has been Alphabet’s Google, which conducted a few scores of workshops all over the country which would train journalists to verify news before it is sent out to people.

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