Wednesday, December 11, 2019
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Fake accounts spreading political bias on Facebook and WhatsApp

IANS
New Delhi
Barely a week away from when the world’s largest democracy goes to the polls, the fake news factories on Facebook and its owned WhatsApp have become active like never before as the social media giant scrambles for solutions which are few and far between.
The game on Facebook is different from other social media platforms as several Pages, Groups and accounts have been renamed to push the election agenda as the requirements from the political quarters soar.
According to social media experts, renaming the Facebook Pages or Groups to promote political campaigns and influence voters has become common and the Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven algorithms are not sufficient to handle such a huge volume in a country where Facebook has over 30 crore users and WhatsApp another 30 crore monthly.
“There are over 200 fake Facebook Groups and Pages with more than one lakh followers which are currently influencing the group members and followers with biased political content,” leading social media expert Anoop Mishra told IANS.
There are fake profile pages created by fans of journalists like Ravish Kumar (“I Support Ravish Kumar” with over 18 lakh followers) and Punya Prasun Bajpai (“Prasoon Vajpaaye Fans” with over 10 lakh followers) being used to push a political agenda.
There are several such examples where people who joined Facebook renamed their Pages, Groups and accounts later, only to use it for spreading their political agenda in the election season.

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