Facebook and Google ask poll body not to make their exchanges public

Facebook and Google ask poll body not to make their exchanges public
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Pixabay
20 May, 2019

Following requests to Right to Information (RTI), Internet platforms such as Facebook and Google have told the poll body that they are not open to making public their correspondence with the Election Commission of India, two people in the know told The Economic Times.

The correspondence relates to concerns over misinformation on social media, takedown requests for content, and more.

Twitter, ShareChat and ByteDance did not reply to the poll body’s letter on disclosure of correspondence, according to one of the people.

For disclosing third-party information, the RTI Act states that government entities should obtain go-ahead. The public information officer, however, can disclose the information, even if the third party refuses go-ahead.

In a meeting with the parliamentary committee on information technology in March this year, Facebook Group vice-president for global policy Joel D Kaplan said that the company was eager to engage on the right regulatory framework in response to questions on the steps taken by the social media platform to curb fake news.

The committee had then asked the company and its subsidiaries WhatsApp and Instagram to work closely with the poll body on issues ahead of elections.

Over the past few months, Facebook has introduced various measures to prevent the spread of misinformation.

To create more transparency, the California-headquartered company had in February said it would tighten rules around political advertisement in India.