On Monday, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar emphasized the anticipation of election management bodies (EMBs) for social media platforms to actively employ their “algorithm power” in identifying and flagging fake news. This statement was made during an international conference for EMBs hosted by the Election Commission of India (ECI) under the umbrella of the United States’ ‘Summit for Democracy’ platform.
Kumar acknowledged that while social media platforms claim to have content policies, leveraging their “algorithm power” with a proactive approach is essential for ensuring “credible electoral outcomes.” He asserted that expecting social media platforms to red-flag fake news earlier and more effectively, based on established patterns and genres, is a reasonable expectation for EMBs.
Reflecting on India’s experience in conducting elections during the Covid-19 pandemic, the CEC highlighted that disenfranchisement, even if temporary, is not a viable option for democracies. He encouraged the assembly of EMB representatives, which included senior figures from Mauritius and Greece, to establish benchmarks and engage in a dialogue about the challenges and opportunities they face.
Elizabeth Jones, the United States Charge d’Affaires, who attended the inaugural event alongside Kumar and Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey, expressed the significance of the US-India partnership. In an EC statement, she praised India’s Election Commission as a well-run body overseeing electoral processes, noting that the administration of Indian elections has set standards for democracies globally.