India elections: Google partners with news publishers, fact-checkers to curb deepfakes

Google . (IANS Photo)

Google . (IANS Photo)

New Delhi, March 1 (IANS): Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Google on Friday announced to support ‘Shakti, India Election Fact-Checking Collective’, which is a consortium of news publishers and fact-checkers in the country, in order to curb the spread of deepfakes.

The project will focus on connecting independent fact checkers and Indian language publishers, giving them a collaborative platform to share fact checks, research resources and alerts on elections-related viral misinformation and deepfakes.

"Fact-checks in multiple Indian languages and formats, including videos, will be shared and amplified via partnering news publishers, ensuring they reach a wider set of language users and diverse audiences across the country," the company said in a statement.

The 'Shakti' project will be driven by DataLEADS, in collaboration with the Misinformation Combat Alliance and other fact checkers, with support from the Google News Initiative (GNI).

The project will also provide news organisations and fact-checkers essential training in advanced fact-checking methodologies, deepfake detection, and the latest Google tools like the Fact Check Explorer.

"The Fact-Checking Collective will continue to prioritise publishers producing original news in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali and Marathi," said the tech giant.

"In an era where digital information flows faster than ever, the need to empower people with trustworthy and credible information has never been more critical," said Bharat Gupta, President, Misinformation Combat Alliance (MCA).

Google said that since 2018, it has supported the training of more than 65,000 journalists, media educators and journalism students in over 15 languages globally, "and empowered them with digital tools and skills needed to find, verify, and tell engaging stories while tackling the ever-evolving risk of misinformation".