STOCKHOLM: According to a senior official, Google Jigsaw division is starting a new anti-misinformation effort in India to stop false information that has been accused of instigating violence.
Prebunking films will be used in the campaign to refute misleading claims before they are widely disseminated on the company’s YouTube channel and other social media platforms.
Google is attempting to stop the spread of misinformation, in contrast to rival Twitter, which is shrinking its trust and safety teams despite new owner Elon Musk’s promises that it won’t become a “free-for-all hellscape.”
In order to combat online hostility toward refugees in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Google recently tested a tactic there.
Because it will involve many regional languages—Bengali, Hindi, and Marathi—as well as numerous locations of a country with over a billion people, the experiment in India will have a greater impact.
According to Beth Goldberg, Jigsaw’s head of research and development, “this provided an opportunity to explore prebunking in a non-western, global south market.”
India, like other countries, is plagued by the rapid spread of incorrect information, primarily through social media, which exacerbates tensions on the political and religious fronts.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) frequently uses “special powers” to block YouTube channels, Twitter and Facebook accounts, and other allegedly harmful accounts that promote misinformation.
WhatsApp, a messaging app with more than 200 million users in India, has also been used to distribute inflammatory comments. Following widespread beatings of more than a dozen people, some of whom died, caused by bogus allegations of child abductors in 2018, the firm limited the number of times a message may be sent.