Election bodies expect social media platforms to use ‘algorithm power’ to proactively red-flag fake news: CEC – The Hindu

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October 31, 2022 06:10 pm | Updated 08:56 pm IST – New Delhi
Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar addressing a news conference. File | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar
Inclusive elections truthfully reflect the expression of the collective will of people and are a hallmark of democracy, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said here on Monday even as he stressed on the challenges of social media and their intersection with election management bodies (EMBs).
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The EMBs, the CEC added, expected social media platforms to use their “algorithm power, to proactively red-flag fake news”. His comments came at a two-day international conference on the ‘Role, Framework & Capacity of Election Management Bodies’, which he inaugurated with Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey.
The conference has been organised by the Election Commission (EC) under the ‘Cohort on Election Integrity’ led by the Commission and established as a follow-on to the ‘Summit for Democracy’ held in December last year.
In his keynote address at the inaugural ceremony, the CEC offered the EC’s expertise in election management to world democracies to take forward the summit’s commitments to real outcomes. Speaking on the pressing challenges before the EMBs today, Mr. Kumar stressed on their intersection with social media platforms. “More early or deeper red-flagging of fake news based on known modus operandi and genres, is not an unfair expectation from the EMBs,” he said. Such a proactive approach to counter fake news would facilitate “credible electoral outcomes” that would help preserve “freedoms” which these platforms require to thrive.
He said that free, fair, inclusive, accessible and inducement-free elections being a cornerstone of democratic polity, were a precondition to peace and developmental dividends. These threshold concepts, he said, embody the understanding that sovereignty belongs to and flows from people of a country. Inclusivity also meant adjusting inequalities especially for women, persons with disabilities, senior citizens, young voters and marginalised populations.
According to the Commission, nearly 50 participants from 11 EMBs from Armenia, Mauritius, Nepal, Cabo Verde, Australia, Chile, the Federal States of Micronesia, Greece, Philippines, São Tomé & Príncipe and the U.S. are part of the event, in addition to other nations being represented by their Missions in the Capital.
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