- March 24, 2021 UPDATED: March 24, 2021 15:08 IST
Gearing up for the upcoming assembly elections in India, microblogging platform Twitter has updated its policy to “empower democratic conversations, facilitating meaningful political debate, and drive civic participation” during polls.
“With the Assembly Elections 2021 in Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Puducherry a few days away, we are implementing the significant product, policy, and enforcement updates,” Twitter said in a statement on Wednesday.
Twitter said it has set up a global cross-functional team to keep the service safe from attempts to manipulate the platform and content that can incite violence, abuse, and threats and trigger the risk of offline harm.
CRACKDOWN ON FAKE NEWS, MANIPULATED CONTENT
To tackle misinformation with just a few days to go to elections, Twitter said its goal is to make it easy to find credible information on its platform while limiting the spread of potentially harmful and misleading content.
Giving details on updates in its policy, Twitter said it will remove content that manipulates or interferes with elections and is false or contains misleading information about:
>> Procedures to participate in the election process
>> False information intended to intimidate or dissuade people from participating in the elections and voting, and
>> Accounts that misrepresent their affiliation with a political candidate or party.
On manipulated content, Twitter said in its statement that it will label synthetic and manipulated media and link it to a Twitter Moment to give people additional context.
“Twitter has zero-tolerance for platform manipulation and spam,” the statement added.
“We will continue to strengthen Twitter against attempted manipulation, including malicious automated accounts and spam. Inauthentic engagement, which includes things like selling/purchasing Tweet or account metric inflation (like Retweets, Likes, mentions, Twitter Poll votes), is a violation and we will take action on accounts that engage in this behaviour, which may include permanent suspension.”
NO POLITICAL ADS
Amid growing concern over political advertisements, Twitter said, “Political ads were banned in 2019. We believe that political message reach should be earned, not bought, bringing ads from political candidates and political parties to an endSteps include identifying and blocking ads from referenced candidates, parties, and other election-related content.”
Twitter said in case people attempt to retweet tweets with a synthetic and manipulated media label, they will see a prompt pointing them to credible information. “These tweets won’t be algorithmically recommended by Twitter, which further reduces the visibility of misleading information.”
NEW EVENTS PAGE ON TWITTER FOR RESULT DAY
Ahead of the elections, Twitter said it will be launching an events page dedicated to polls on voting days and for the election results day.
The page will include a timeline of tweets from credible accounts to provide the latest information on the days of voting and election results.
Assembly elections to four states and the Union Territory of Puducherry will begin on March 27. Bengal and Assam will have eight-phase and three-phase elections while Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry will have a single-phase election on April 6. The counting of votes is scheduled for May 2.