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Facebook launches tools for India ahead of general elections

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By Charlotte McEleny | Asia Editor

March 27, 2019 | 4 min read

Facebook has launched a set of tools specifically for Indian users, with the aim of boosting engagement with voters ahead of the elections.

Facebook has announced a new video feature called ‘Candidate Connect’ which will let people see 20-second videos from candidates in their constituencies. The content of the videos is based off questions that arose from consumer research, according to the Economic Times.

Facebook elections

Facebook launches election tools in India

The second feature is a ‘Share You Voted’ tool, which will help people find polling station information and allow people to celebrate making their voice heard.

The moves come as Facebook has committed to making sure that fake news doesn’t impact the elections in India, by coming down on political advertising and removing bad actors and fake accounts.

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"We have more than tripled the team working on safety and security to 30,000 people, introduced unprecedented transparency requirements for political advertising, improved our ability to detect and remove fake accounts and stepped up our efforts to fight false news and misinformation," said Samidh Chakrabarti, director of product management for civic integrity at Facebook.

Brands are also getting involved in the elections, as Thomas Cook this week announced special deals for voters that want to travel back to their hometowns. The brand is also aiming to capitalise on what it calls ‘election tourism’, in which Indian voters will add a weekend trip to their journey home to vote.

The Indian general elections will take place across seven stages in April, between 11th and 19th. India is the world’s largest democracy and so it represents a major event in global and Asian politics in 2019. Many other major Asian democracies will also be heading to polling stations this year.

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