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REUTERS/Regis Duvignau
NEW POWER CENTRE?

A Facebook team in Singapore will tackle the fake news threat to the 2019 Indian election

Aria Thaker
By Aria Thaker

Reporter

Facebook will work to monitor threats to the upcoming Indian general election from an operations centre in Singapore, Quartz has learnt.

Yesterday (Jan. 28), Facebook uploaded a blog post that discussed measures that the company is taking to fight fake news and maintain the integrity of elections across the globe. The post states that Facebook is “planning to set up two new regional operations centres, focused on election integrity, located in our Dublin and Singapore offices.”

A senior employee of Facebook India confirmed to Quartz that the Singapore office will be a hub for the team managing threats to the Indian election.

Facebook’s blog post says having regional centres that focus on election integrity “will allow our global teams to better work across regions in the run-up to elections, and will further strengthen our coordination and response time between staff in Menlo Park and in-country.”

The centres in Singapore and Dublin, the post specifies, “will work cross-functionally with our threat intelligence, data science, engineering, research, community operations, legal and other teams.”

Curiously, this news comes soon after Facebook restructured its India unit to make its senior leaders report to the country head instead of the Asia-Pacific regional office in Singapore.

Many of the points related to Indian elections highlighted in Facebook’s blog post have already been publicised by the company. These include increasing transparency in political advertising and beefing up third-party fact-checking initiatives in the country.

The first will involve making sure that entities’ identities are registered and vetted before they can buy ads. Facebook will also launch a digital library that will display information about India-based advertisements related to politics and “national importance,” including ones that have been removed for violating site policies.

The ad library has already been rolled out in the US, the UK, and Brazil. Facebook’s recent blog post specifies that it will launch in India in February.

Read Quartz’s coverage of the 2019 Indian general election here.

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