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Fake News: Asians Lead The Battle Against The Spread Of Misinformation; Giant Techies Mute Spectators

Fake News: Using technologies such as artificial intelligence, a number of organizations in Asia are working to combat the spread of false information and hate speech in local languages on the internet.

After rumors that were spread on the messaging service led to several deaths in India, WhatsApp implemented new policies in 2018 to restrict the messages that users could forward to one another. In addition to that, the fast-forward button that was located next to the media messages was removed.

Tarunima Prabhakar developed a simple deception tool

Tarunima Prabhakar developed a simple deception tool after becoming frustrated with the constant stream of false information on her family’s WhatsApp group chats in India, which ranged from reports of a Bollywood actor’s death to a South African water crisis.

Co-founder of the technology company Tattle in India, Prabhakar, employed machine learning to automate verification while archiving fact-checking websites and news sources.

She claimed that the web-based tool may be used by academics, journalists, researchers, and students.

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She said, “Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are being investigated for spreading false information, but not WhatsApp.” WhatsApp is a messaging app owned by Meta, the parent company of Facebook, with over 2 billion monthly active users worldwide, including over half a billion in India.

She told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that “the methodologies and procedures used to detect misinformation on Facebook and Twitter are not relevant to WhatsApp and are not excellent with Indian languages.”

In 2018, WhatsApp limited user-forwarded messages after rumors on the platform led to numerous fatalities in India. Quick-forwarding of media messages was abolished.

Tattle is one of many Asian programs that uses artificial intelligence, crowdsourcing, on-the-ground training, and civil society organizations to combat hate speech, misinformation, and abuse on the internet in local languages.

Despite growing scrutiny for hate speech and disinformation, experts claim that Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have not made enough investments in developing countries and lack moderators with language proficiency and local event knowledge.

“Social media companies disregard regional communities. They disregard the cultural, social, historical, economic, and political context when screening user content “Director of Article 19’s media freedom, Pierre François Docquir, explained.

Despite the impact of online hate speech in numerous Asian countries, analysts believe internet corporations have not increased resources to improve content screening, particularly in local languages.

Following a military operation in 2017, UN rights investigators ruled that Facebook enabled hate speech that stoked the violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

Facebook asserted that it was battling false information and funding technology and speakers of the Burmese language

According to a June Article 19 investigation, “significant hate speech” directed at LGBTQ+, racial, and religious minorities was being spread online in Indonesia by paid trolls and automated bots.

According to Sherly Haristya, a researcher who worked on the Article 19 report on content moderation in Indonesia, “Social media businesses must cooperate with local efforts to tackle the considerable difficulties in monitoring dangerous content online.”

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Misconceptions are taught to schoolchildren and stay-at-home mothers through programs run by the Indonesian non-profit Mafindo, which is funded by Google. verifying and identifying

Reverse image search, video metadata, and geolocation are skills taught by the Indonesian Anti-Slander Society, Mafindo, to validate the information.

At least 8,550 hoaxes have been debunked by the fact-checkers and volunteers of the nonprofit organization.

A Bahasa fact-checking chatbot named Kalimasada was introduced by Mafindo before the 2019 election. Of the 80 million WhatsApp users in the country, 37,000 use it.

As they have limited digital skills and mobility, the elderly are more susceptible to hoaxes, false information, and fake news on the platforms, according to Mafindo president Santi Indra Astuti.

Asian governments are strengthening social media regulations, banning specific messages, and mandating the immediate deletion of objectionable content.

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