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Elections 2019: Facebook Removing 1 Million Abusive Accounts Per Day

Facebook is removing around one million abusive accounts every day using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), the Mark Zuckerberg-led social media firm said Monday, three days ahead of the first phase of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Ajit Mohan, Facebook’s Managing Director and Vice President, India, wrote in a blog post “We are absolutely committed to maintaining the integrity of the elections in India and will continue to work with local organizations, government groups and experts to make that happen”

Facebook said it was working for more than 18 months now to make sure that Indian elections were fair and free from interference, both foreign and domestic.

“This work is done across dozens of teams, both in India and around the globe, and began more than 18 months ago with detailed planning and risk assessment across our platforms,” Mohan added.

The social networking giant recently launched two new products in India to help people learn about issues they care about and engage with candidates and elected officials in meaningful ways. “Candidate Connect” is designed to give voters accurate information and help people learn more about different candidates. And “Share You Voted” lets people share with friends that they’ve cast their ballot in the Lok Sabha elections.

“We continue to expand on this initiative, adding 24 new languages – including 16 for India – to our automatic translation system,” Mohan said.

It recently joined other social media companies in a voluntary code of ethics for the general elections with the Election Commission of India (ECI).

The code includes measures like a dedicated communications channel for notice and take-down after receiving a legal order, processing of valid requests in the blackout period ahead of voting and voter education efforts. Even policymakers, candidates and their staff are being trained to improve their cybersecurity and awareness for how their accounts could be hacked or abused.

“During elections, times of conflict or political turmoil, these accounts can be at higher risk of threats and abuse, so we help them learn how to be proactive and look for signals that their accounts could be harmed,” Mohan added.

Facebook last week removed nearly 700 Pages, Groups and accounts in India for violating its policies on what it calls “coordinated inauthentic behavior” and spam.

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