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CEC wants social media platforms to take a proactive role in reporting fake news

New Delhi: A proactive approach by social media platforms to countering fake news will facilitate credible election results that will help safeguard “freedoms”, Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said on Monday.

Addressing an international conference of election management bodies here, Kumar said social media platforms proclaim they have content posting policies, but they also have the “power of the algorithm at stake, according to a statement issued by the Electoral Commission (EC).

“Earlier or deeper reporting of fake news based on known modus operandi and genres is not an unfair expectation on the part of election management bodies,” he stressed.

Kumar said, “Such a proactive approach to countering fake news will facilitate credible election results that will help preserve the ‘freedoms’ that social media platforms need to thrive.”

The CEC stated that free, fair, inclusive, accessible and incentive-free elections being the cornerstone of democratic rule, are also a prerequisite for peace and development dividends.

“These threshold concepts embody the understanding that sovereignty belongs to and derives from the people of a country,” the statement reads as a quote.

Addressing the conference, US Charge d’Affaires Elizabeth Jones said the relationship between India and the US was most important.

According to the statement, she said the partnership is growing stronger to address global challenges and cooperate to bring peace, security and prosperity across the world.

She pointed out that India and the United States have contributed significantly to the establishment of democratic institutions.

The EC has made critical achievements in promoting democratic principles while addressing challenges, Jones said.

“The Election Commission of India is a testament to a well-run election management body that oversees electoral processes. The United States appreciates your leadership and sharing your expertise with other democracies.

“India’s election administration has set standards for democracies around the world,” she said in her speech.

Jones also highlighted the various challenges emerging in the conduct of elections, including manipulation of the information environment, barriers to the participation of women and marginalized communities, shrinking civic spaces and systemic corruption that undermine the electoral integrity.

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