An anti-disinformation project is being launched in India by Google subsidiary Jigsaw. The project aims to prevent the spread of large amounts of misinformation that has been accused of inciting violence in the country. The initiative will use pre-bunking videos; these are videos designed to counter false and misleading claims before they go viral. These videos will be available on Google’s YouTube platform as well as other social media.
This effort by Google to prevent the spread of misinformation stands in stark contrast to Twitter, which is scaling back its trust and security teams, although Elon Musk has said the site will not become a “free hellscape.”
What is Google’s Anti-Misinformation Project?
After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Google recently conducted an experiment in Europe. The purpose of this experiment was to counter anti-refugee narratives found on the internet. But that was only the beginning. If the same experiment were to be conducted in India, it would be all the more expansive because of the many local languages in India and with a population of over a billion people.
Beth Goldman, head of research and development at Jigsaw, said: “This has been an opportunity to research pre-bunking in a non-Western Global South market. »
The spread of misinformation is an inevitable process and like in other countries it is happening in India too. Misinformation is spread primarily through social media to incite violence and create political tension. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has repeatedly invoked “extraordinary powers” to block YouTube channels and accounts on Twitter and Facebook that spread misinformation.
Five videos in three languages were produced by Jigsaw in collaboration with the Alfred Landecker Foundation, a pro-democracy organization based in Germany, the philanthropic investment firm Omidyar Network India and a number of smaller partners in other regions.
According to Jigsaw, viewers will be 5% more likely to identify misinformation after watching the pre-bunking videos.
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