Facebook: Fighting problem of misinformation

New Delhi: Social networking giant Facebook said it is fighting the problem of misinformation which it classified under three categories: virality, coordinated behaviour and civic harm, and stressed that over the past six months, it has taken down a billion fake accounts to address the issue. “There are bad actors, bad behaviour and bad content…I can’t check human behaviour but I can check how people behave on my platform,” said Shivnath Thukral, public policy director, India for Facebook.

“There isn’t a single ad pertaining to politics where you can’t find who paid how much and for how long and the targeted people. We have community standards within which it is determined what is allowed, what is not, and that is very critical,” he explained.

Facebook has a three-pronged agenda which revolves around partnership, transparency and co-regulation, besides involving the civil society. “If people’s voices are not taken into account, no policy is going to be good enough — this is what Facebook believes in. Our community in India of more than 200 million people is sacred. There will be good, there will be bad. We will take care of that, but we can’t lose sight of what good Facebook does to the world.”

The company is powering businesses across the country by providing tools on its platforms to access markets, which otherwise can’t find the supply chain and infrastructure to do so. “As many as six million businesses are live on Facebook in India today. We are the internet for small businesses because for them creating a page costs nothing, but our agenda is taking this economic possibility of providing marketing and access to the people,” said Sandeep Bhushan, head of India for GMS at Facebook.

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Bhushan explained how as many as 75-80% of these 6 million businesses reported an increase in customers owing to their presence on Facebook’s platforms. “More than half tell us they added a job or two,” he said.



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