Google to partner news publishers, fact-checkers to tackle election misinformation in India

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GOOGLE has announced plans to work with a consortium of news publishers and fact-checkers in India to tackle the menace of misinformation ahead of the country’s 2024 general elections billed for April and May.

The tech firm revealed this development in a blog post on March 1, 2024.

Google said it will work with Shakti, the India Election Fact-Checking Collective to create a common repository that news publishers can use to tackle the challenges of misinformation at scale.

Shakti, a pan-Indian network, will be driven by DataLEADS, in collaboration with the Misinformation Combat Alliance, The Quint, VishvasNews, Boom, Factly, and Newschecker, with support from the Google News Initiative.

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“Starting today until the conclusion of the General Elections in India, the project will focus on connecting independent fact checkers and Indian language publishers, giving them a collaborative platform to share fact-checks, research resources and alerts on elections-related viral misinformation and deepfakes, saving crucial time,” Google said.

“Fact-checks in multiple Indian languages and formats, including videos, will be shared and amplified via partnering news publishers, ensuring they reach a wider set of language users and diverse audiences across the country,” the statement added.

Google noted that the project will provide news organizations and fact-checkers essential training in advanced fact-checking methodologies, deepfake detection, and the latest Google tools like the Fact Check Explorer, to streamline verification processes.

“With this launch, the India Fact-Checking Collective will continue to onboard new partners and scale the effort to reach most parts of the country,” it further stated.

Nurudeen Akewushola is a fact-checker with FactCheckHub. He has authored several fact checks which have contributed to the fight against information disorder. You can reach him via [email protected] and @NurudeenAkewus1 via Twitter.

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