ShareChat takes down 4.8 lakh posts and 54k accounts ahead of Lok Sabha polls

This was done to ensure that the platform is not misused in any way during the ongoing elections.

ShareChat Wednesday said it has removed over 4.87 lakh unique pieces of content, including 13,195 related to politics and news, for violating community guidelines of the regional language social media platform.

Since February this year, ShareChat has removed user accounts as well as a large number of individual pieces of content for violating the community guidelines and the terms of use, it said in a statement.

The company said it has over the past three months intensified its efforts of "policing the platform" in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections.

This has been done to ensure that the platform – which has 45 million users – is not misused in any way to aid activities that could be considered voter suppression or misinformation campaigns, it added.

"As part of the policing efforts on the platform, over 4.87 lakh unique pieces of content have been removed. These contents were taken down for violating the community guidelines as well as in some cases the terms of use," it said. Of this, 13,195 unique pieces of content were from politics and news section that were violative of the community guidelines.

ShareChat. Image: Facebook

ShareChat is a homegrown app that's immensely popular in India. Image: Facebook

"Of the above, 6,431 pieces of content were taken down which were sharing content marked as factually inaccurate by a third-party fact checking agency,," it pointed out.

Some of these posts included factually inaccurate statements with regard to the national elections, shared content with an intent to cause public disorder that was meant to create a frenzy amongst various political party supporters and or the general public, ShareChat said.

The Bengaluru-based company also noted that a total of 54,404 accounts have been removed, which is the "largest" till date. "This removal specifically targeted accounts that were indulging in the sharing of harmful or abusive content, engaging in disruptive behaviour and for using the platform in a way that was violative of the terms of use," it said.

With social media playing a major role in political campaigning, there have been concerns around potential misuse of digital platforms to influence voters.

ShareChat, along with other social media platforms, had last month signed and adopted a 'Voluntary Code of Ethics' to support the Election Commission of India (ECI) in ensuring a free and fair election process.

As part of this, ShareChat conducted a training session for ECI appointed nodal officers in Delhi. The training included methods through which the ECI could report potentially unlawful content for expeditious redressal. "...we are focused towards ensuring that our platform is not misused by bad actors. We have invested resources to ensure our AI tools as well human reviewers are well trained in order to effectively detect and stall harmful behaviour on our platform," ShareChat Head of Policy Berges Y Malu said.

ShareChat's platform is available in 14 Indian language options. Founded by three IIT-Kanpur graduates, the company is valued at nearly USD 500 million.

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