In a bid to fight misinformation ahead of the assembly elections in Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry, Twitter on March 15 launched an information search prompt with the Election Commission of India and state election commissions.
The search prompt is designed to make it easy to find credible and authoritative information about candidate lists, voting dates, polling booths, and EVM (electronic voting machine) voter registration, among other election-related topics.
It will be active in six languages including Assamese, Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi and English, supporting more than 20 hashtags, Twitter said.
Other initiatives that the microblogging platform announced include a custom emoji to encourage participation; a series of pre-bunks and de-bunks to tackle election-related misinformation; and a youth discussion series titled #DemocracyAdda aimed at voter literacy and civic participation among young Indians for the assembly polls.
“By leveraging the power of the open internet, we are encouraging people across India to be a part of the #AssemblyElections2021 conversation,” Payal Kamat, manager public policy & government at Twitter India, said in a statement.
“None of this would be possible without support from the Election Commission of India, the state election commissions, and hope our efforts contribute to healthy and vibrant civic dialogue,” the statement added.
Additionally, to put a spotlight on women in Indian politics, Twitter said it will be bringing back #HerPoliticalJourney, a video series where women political leaders talk about their personal stories with leading women news journalists.
Twitter said it is publishing a series of pre-bunk prompts across languages including English, Hindi, Tamil and Bengali based on content by the national and state election commissions and civil society partners such as Youth Ki Awaz, Association of Democratic Reforms.
The prompts will appear on people’s home timelines and in search, including information about how to register to vote, and details on EVMs and VVPATs (voter verifiable paper audit trail).
They will also serve the public with relevant voting information about booths, postal ballots, COVID-19 restrictions and accessibility, among other topics.