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Election Commission confirms partnership with Facebook for Karnataka Assembly polls

The Election Commission has confirmed its partnership with Facebook for the Karnataka Assembly polls, saying that Social Media is a reality, but precautions will be taken. https://twitter.com/smritikak/status/978513034300805120 The Election Commission has engaged with Facebook in the past to encourage enrolment for voter ID or encourage voting as well as Facebook reporting election results. The EC has also partnered with Facebook on three different occasions in the last year to encourage Facebook users, specifically young people, to register themselves as voters. In 2017, as part of one such collaborative effort, Facebook sent voter registration reminders in 13 Indian languages to all its users in the country for four days, from July 1 to 4. In November last year, all Facebook users who were going to turn 18, got a “birthday wish” on their birthday along with a reminder encouraging them to register with the EC to vote. In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica row, there has been growing concern about the use of Social Media to influence elections. Even as Mark Zuckerberg swept into damage control mode, the Election Commission of India was caught on the back foot with questions about its partnership with Facebook for elections and responded with what is now a typical response to data security concerns in India, this time about data of voters being used to influence them, with reports of the relevant organization taking the reports seriously, assertions that no harm was done, news of the suspect access being reconsidered, announcements of efforts to review…

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Vidyut is a commentator on socio-political issues with a keen interest in behavioral sciences, digital rights and security and manages to engage her various proficiencies to bring an unusual perspective to issues related with the intersection of tech and people.

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