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India asks Facebook to ensure no foreign interference in its elections

Published: March 6, 2019

STORY: An Indian parliamentary panel on Wednesday (March 06) asked Facebook and its other social media platforms to make sure there is no foreign interference in upcoming nationwide elections.

Social media in the world’s largest democracy have become a hotbed for circulation of fake political news and tech firms face intense scrutiny ahead of a general election due before May, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will seek a second term.

Vice President for Public Policy of Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram, Joel Kaplan met the committee on information technology in New Delhi and panel chairman Anurag Thakur said

Facebook will answer to the questions it couldn’t immediately, in written, in 10 days.

India, one of the world’s biggest internet markets, proposed rules in late December that would compel platforms such as Facebook, its WhatsApp messenger service and Twitter to remove within 24 hours unlawful content, such as anything that affects the “sovereignty and integrity of India”.

Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter have overhauled policies to boost transparency ahead of the general election and rein in misinformation.

An estimated half a billion people in India have access to the Internet. Facebook has about 300 million users in the country and WhatsApp has more than 200 million. Tens of millions of Indians use Twitter.

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