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WhatsApp launches second campaign to curb fake news circulation ahead of Lok Sabha elections

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WhatsApp on Monday launched the second variation of its “Share Joy, Not Rumours” education campaign to encourage the responsible use of its platform before Lok Sabha elections.

Adding to the earlier TV, print and radio ads, the new campaign would educate users on the controls available on WhatsApp in order to empower users to stop the circulation of fake news and misinformation, the company said in a statement.

The first phase of the campaign effectively reached hundreds of millions of users in India across both rural and urban areas, claimed the company, adding that the messaging platform is building up on the campaign with a second round focused on ensuring a safe election process.

“Proactively working with the Election Committee and local partners for a safe election is our top priority. Expanding our education campaign to help people easily identify and stop malicious messages is another step towards improving the safety of our users,” said Abhijit Bose, Head of India, WhatsApp.

Facebook-owned messaging platform’s digital literacy partners, including DEF and NASSCOM, would be sharing these videos to grow awareness among people while the print ads are developed in order to remind users on how to spot, verify and stop the circulation of misinformation that can cause harmful outcomes during the sensitive period of polling.

Over the years, WhatsApp has introduced various changes to its platform, including labeling forwarded messages so users know when a message is not sent to them by their immediate contact and limiting the amount of time a message can be forwarded.

Moreover, WhatsApp also bans accounts that engage in an unwanted automated activity.

WhatsApp, like other social media platforms, will have to take into account any request from the Election Commission of India to take down content within three hours during the 48-hour period before voting days.

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