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Google partners with fact-checkers and publications to combat misinformation ahead of general elections

Google is providing tools, training for Indian publishers to detect deepfakes and misinformation before massive general elections.

With India’s general elections coming up, Google has announced a new partnership to combat misinformation. The tech giant is teaming up with Shakti, an Indian fact-checking collective, to help news publishers detect and debunk false claims.

Shakti is comprised of several major Indian news outlets along with independent fact-checkers. The goal is to create a centralised repository of fact-checks that can be easily accessed by publishers.

The partnership launches Friday and will run through the conclusion of the general elections. During this time, Shakti members will focus on debunking election-related misinformation and “deepfakes” – doctored videos portraying people doing or saying things they never did.

Fact-checks will be available in multiple Indian languages and formats. By sharing them through partner news sites, the goal is to reach broad, diverse audiences across India. Video fact-checks are expected to be particularly useful in fighting misinformation.

Google will also provide training to equip publishers and fact-checkers with the latest verification tools and techniques. This includes advanced fact-checking methods, deepfake detection, and products like Fact Check Explorer.

While starting with major national publications, Shakti aims to expand and bring local publishers on board. The goal is to have the collective span most of India by the end of the elections.

As misinformation remains a major global problem, the partnership is an interesting way to fight it. India’s general elections will affect over 980 million voters.

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