Poll panel takes tech route to curb fake news and misinformation

The commission has been active in debunking false claims on social media platforms.

NEW DELHI: As the Lok Sabha elections began on Friday, concerns about the spread of misinformation and fake news remain high. In an effort to counter this, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has taken a series of measures, such as launching a ‘Myth vs Reality’ portal and the ‘verify before you amplify campaign’. However, with the emergence of new technology, questions remain about the effectiveness of these measures.

During the press conference to announce the election schedule, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar identified misinformation as one of the major challenges to electoral integrity, alongside money, muscle power and Model Code of Conduct (MCC) violations. In early April, the commission launched the ‘Myth vs Reality Register’ to serve as a thorough database aimed at debunking election-related myths and falsehoods during the election period. It covers various myths relating to EVM, VVPAT, and the conduct of elections.

The Election Commission has taken a proactive stance with the ‘Verify Before You Amplify’ initiative, urging individuals to exercise caution and diligence before sharing information on social media platforms. This initiative is designed to empower citizens to verify the accuracy and authenticity of content before amplifying it, thereby curbing the spread of false information and safeguarding the integrity of the electoral process. The commission has also been active in debunking false claims on social media platforms.

While the EC has made significant efforts to counter misinformation about its processes and equipment, it faces an uphill battle. Individuals with vested interests continue to spread false claims and allegations about their opponents, both on the ground and on social media. Moreover, the proliferation of AI-generated content and deep fake videos has further complicated the task, making it increasingly difficult for the average citizen to discern fact from fiction.

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The New Indian Express