India’s election commission grapples with fake information

India’s election commission grapples with fake information
Facebook said Monday that it was removing hundreds of pages and accounts. (File/AFP)
Updated 02 April 2019

India’s election commission grapples with fake information

India’s election commission grapples with fake information
  • WhatsApp on Tuesday unveiled a helpline called Checkpoint Tipline on which people can check the authenticity of information they receive
  • Facebook said Monday that it was removing hundreds of pages and accounts

BHIMTAL, India: When India’s election commission said that its code of conduct would be applied to social media companies as well as political parties, some analysts scoffed, saying it lacked the capacity to check fake news.
Just days before India’s multi-phase general election begins April 11, observers said Tuesday that the commission is indeed struggling with an onslaught of misinformation on Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube and other platforms.
WhatsApp on Tuesday unveiled a helpline called Checkpoint Tipline on which people can check the authenticity of information they receive. Facebook said Monday that it was removing hundreds of pages and accounts.
Monitoring the spread of misinformation is an onerous task. India has 1.14 billion cellphone connections. Around 240 million Indians use WhatsApp. India has over 300 million Facebook users, more than any other country.