Google Launches Anti-Misinformation Campaign In India: Report

The initiative will use 'prebunking' videos designed to counter false affirmations before they become widespread and circulated on the company's YouTube platform and other social media sites, as per the report

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Google's jigsaw subsidiary is launching a new anti-misinformation campaign in India, targeting to prevent misleading information that has been blamed for inciting violence, according to a report by Reuters, citing a top executive official's statement.

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The initiative will use 'prebunking' videos designed to counter false affirmations before they become widespread and circulated on the company's YouTube platform and other social media sites, as per the report.

According to reports, Google had recently conducted an experiment in Europe where it sought to counter anti-refugee narratives online in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The experiment in India will be bigger in scope as it will deal with multiple local languages, Bengali, Hindi and Marathi, and cover diverse categories of a country populated by over a billion people.

"This presented an opportunity to research prebunking in an non-western, global south market," said Beth Goldman, Jigsaw's head of research and development. He also added that the Indian initiative will focus on issues that resonate in the country.

Like other countries, misinformation spreads rapidly across India, mostly through social media, creating political and religious tensions. On the backdrop of this growing trend, Indian government officials have reportedly called on tech companies such as Google, Meta and Twitter to take stronger action against the spread of fake news.

Working in collaboration with the Alfred Landecker Foundation, a pro-democracy organization based in Germany, the philanthropic investment firm Omidya Network India, and a number of smaller regional partners, Jigsaw has produced five videos in three different languages.

After watching the videos, viewers will be asked to fill in a short multiple-choice questionnaire, designed to gauge what they have learned about misinformation. The company's recent research on the subject suggested viewers were 5 per cent more likely to identify misinformation after watching such videos, added the report.