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Face up to facts, shun fake news, says Facebook. All other media follow suit

Written by The Optimist

 

Many of us know how a series of fake posts, such as the video of a man spitting on a woman with a fake caption, ‘Man from Saudi spits in the face of a poor receptionist at a hospital in London, then attacks other staff’, spread like wildfire through Facebook. Such fake news clips used to spread hate messages through various social media sites is not a new problem or phenomenon, but these sites are trying to deal with the issue by taking strict action against the perpetrators of such acts.

Following such posts, Facebook and other social media platforms have begun to take stringent action on posts, and against their users, to uphold transparency on misinformation. With the ongoing General Elections in India and most political parties being involved in spreading fake news, people should be careful while using social media apps.

 

 

Recently, Helo, India’s leading social media platform, revealed that it had taken down over 160,000 accounts and 5 million posts found violating its Community Guidelines, as part of its ongoing commitment to ensure the safety of its users.

Of the total content removed by Helo, only 0.07% comprised fake political news, but this was instantly flagged off and taken down from the platform. Helo’s strong content moderation team works with a combination of machine learning and a robust team of content moderators capable of reviewing, flagging and taking down objectionable content in the 14 Indian languages available on the platform.

To keep fake news in check, Helo partnered with Alt News, a local, non-partisan, fact-checking partner authority, in October 2018. In the light of the ongoing General Elections, Helo has also reached out to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to comply with their instructions and establish an escalation channel, abiding by the model code of conduct. Helo is also running a PSA in-app to remind users to be mindful of the content they publish on the app during election season, encouraging them to use verified news sources and abide by the ECI’s guidelines.

 

 

“At Helo, the safety of our users is our utmost priority. While we understand that no social media platform can be 100% free from issues around fake news or misinformation, the number of posts and accounts we’ve taken down reflects the strength of our moderation capabilities. But our work doesn’t end here. We’re looking forward to enhancing our guidelines and safety features to ensure that we remain the most trusted source in India for news and trending topics,” said Shyamanga Barooah, head of content operations, Helo.

Wrapping up the first quarter of 2019, Helo also unveiled that it had grown over 60%, reaching a mark of over 40 million MAUs within 10 months of its launch since June 2018. Giving access to Indian communities across the US, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Bangladesh, Helo has become the app for ‘Global Desis’ to be connected with their friends and loved ones back home.

Helo’s AI-powered, visual platform is specifically designed for Indian mobile users. It enables users to easily create content with easy-to-use tools, and encourages interaction through features to make new friends and share the latest and top trending jokes, memes, status updates, wishes, quotes, shayaris and Bollywood news.

 

 

At a glance

  • Helo reveals the number of contents and accounts taken down since June 2018 as part of fighting fake news and objectionable content
  • The app grew over 60% in Q1 2019, reaching 40 million MAUs
  • Helo recently launched an in-app notification with a public service announcement (PSA) reminding Indian users to behave responsibly during the ongoing General Elections

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The Optimist

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