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Facebook to do fact checking in Urdu and Punjabi

It has hired extra staff to increase language coverage and other capabilities for election season.

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MUMBAI: Fact-checking has been introduced by Facebook in more Indian languages like Urdu and Punjabi other than Tamil and Gujarati that were earlier available with the social media giant. In a bid to suppress the spread of misinformation amid general elections in the country, it has increased the number of posts fact-checkers as it can review in India by 25 per cent, according to a report by Economic Times.

The report mentioned that several fact checkers pointed out that debunked information from different campaigns gets published with a fresh narrative. False news in regional languages spread quickly but go undetected because they circulate in a particular region. Hence Facebook wanted to expand its language fact-checking in India.

As per the report, Facebook’s spokesperson said, “We don't discuss deal terms but we want to incentivise partners to do as much fact-checking as possible, especially during this critical election period. We're providing additional funding to fact-checking partners during the election, and as a result several have been able to hire extra staff to increase language coverage and other capabilities. We share the same goal as our partners do: to reduce the spread of misinformation, and inform people about the posts they see in their news feed."

The distribution of false news is generally reduced by 80 per cent as and when it comes under the notice of the fact checkers. There are a total of seven fact checkers across India which includes Boom Live, AFP, Factly, Fact Crescendo, Newsmobile, India Today and Jagran (Vishvas).

Moreover, a source told Economic Times that India now has the highest number of fact checkers per market.

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