You are here: Home » Companies » News
Business Standard

At Facebook, a year-long exercise to ensure free and fair polls in India

The IAMAI had come up with a voluntary code of ethics for social media companies, which will be in force till the end of Lok Sabha elections

Neha Alawadhi  |  New Delhi 

Inside Facebook’s Menlo Park, California, office Photo: PTI
Inside Facebook’s Menlo Park, California, office Photo: PTI

on Monday said it had been working for over a year to ensure free and fair in India, as well as around the world.

Work was “done across dozens of teams, both in India and around the globe, and began more than 18 months ago with a detailed planning and risk assessment across our platforms. The findings allowed us to concentrate our work on key areas, including blocking and removing fake accounts; fighting the spread of misinformation; stopping abuse by domestic actors; spotting attempts at foreign meddling; and taking action against inauthentic coordinated campaigns,” said Faceb­ook’s Managing Director and Vice-President, India, Ajit Mohan, in a blog.

As part of its work with the Election Comm­ission (EC), Mohan said had created a training process to help policymakers, candidates and their staff improve their cybersecurity and awareness for how their accounts could be hacked or abused. The Internet and Mobile Associ­ation of India (IAMAI), the industry body at the forefront of representing ahead of the elections, has told the EC that have brought down the time taken to respond to violations reported under Section 126 of the Repres­entation of the People Act (RPA) to two hours from the earlier three hours. The IAMAI, which represents companies, had come up with a voluntary code of ethics for companies, which will be in force till the end of Lok Sabha

“These valid legal orders will be acknowledged and/or processed within 3 hours for violations reported under Section 126 as per the Sinha Committee recommendations. All other valid legal requests will be acted upon expeditiously by the companies, based on the nature of reported violation," the code had stated.

In a letter dated April 7, a copy of which was accessed by Business Standard, the said while the time taken to acknowledge violations had been reduced by one hour, it requested the EC that the "3-hour timeframe consistent with the Sinha Comm­ittee recommendations remain in place — to ensure that participants have sufficient time to acknowledge and/or process violations in all instances".

“Further, where the Participants require further clarification or additional inf­or­mation (e.g., if the request lacks specific URLs, involves large volumes, or does not follow lawful process), proposes that in such cases, the time period be suspended from the time the request for clarification or additional information is made until such time that clarification or additional information is provided, at which point the time period would begin to run again," said in its submission to the EC.

First Published: Mon, April 08 2019. 22:51 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU