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AI Election Disinformation Surges on Social Media in India



Disinformation on India's Election Surges on Social Media

Claims circulating online in India recently misstated details about voting, claimed without evidence that the election would be manipulated, and urged for violence against India’s Muslims.

Researchers who study misinformation and hate speech in India say digital companies’ lax enforcement of their own regulations has created ideal conditions for damaging content that might alter public opinion, incite violence, and leave millions of voters unsure what to trust.

“A non-discerning user or regular user has no idea whether it’s someone, an individual sharing his or her thoughts on the other end, or is it a bot?” Rekha Singh, a 49-year-old voter, told the Associated Press. Singh expressed her concern that social media algorithms affect voters’ perceptions of truth. “So you are biased without even realizing it,” she went on to say.

In a year filled with major elections, India’s sweeping vote stands out. The world’s most populous country speaks dozens of languages and has the highest number of WhatsApp users and YouTube subscribers. Nearly 1 billion citizens are eligible to vote in the election, which will take place through June.

Google and Meta, the owners of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, say they are striving to prevent false or hateful content while assisting voters in finding credible sources. However, experts who have long followed disinformation in India believe their assurances are hollow after years of failed enforcement and “cookie-cutter” techniques that ignore India’s linguistic, religious, geographic, and cultural diversity.

According to disinformation experts that specialize in India, given the country’s size and importance to social media businesses, greater attention is likely.

“The platforms get money from this. Ritumbra Manuvie, a law professor at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, stated, “They benefit from it, and the entire country pays the price.” Manuvie is the leader of The London Story, an Indian diaspora group that staged a protest outside Meta’s London offices last month.

The group and another organization, India Civil Watch International, discovered that Meta allowed political advertisements and posts that contained anti-Muslim hate speech, Hindu nationalist narratives, misogynistic posts about female candidates, and ads encouraging violence against political opponents.

The advertisements were viewed over 65 million times in 90 days earlier this year. They collectively cost more than $1 million.

Meta defends its work on global elections and disputes the findings of the India study, noting that it has expanded its collaboration with independent fact-checking organizations ahead of the election and has employees around the world ready to act if its platforms are used to spread misinformation. Meta’s president of worldwide affairs, Nick Clegg, stated about India’s election, “It’s a huge, huge test for us.”

YouTube in India

“We have months and months of preparation in India,” he told the Associated Press in a recent interview. “Our teams work around the clock. We have fact checkers in India who speak several languages. “We have a 24-hour escalation system.”

Experts think YouTube is another significant disinformation source in India. To see how well the video-sharing platform enforced its own rules, researchers from the organizations Global Witness and Access Now constructed 48 fake ads in English, Hindi, and Telugu that contained inaccurate voting information or calls to violence.

One stated India changed the voting age to 21, although it remains at 18, and another claimed women could vote via text message, which they cannot. A third advocated for the use of force at polling locations.

When Global Witness submitted the commercials to YouTube for approval, the answer was unsatisfactory, according to Henry Peck, an investigator with Global Witness.

“YouTube didn’t act on any of them,” Peck explained, instead approving the commercials for release.

Google, YouTube’s owner, rejected the study and stated that it had several procedures in place to detect ads that breach its policies. Global Witness said the ads were removed before they could be identified and prohibited.

“Our policies explicitly prohibit ads making demonstrably false claims that could undermine participation or trust in an election, which we enforce in several Indian languages,” the company said in a statement. The corporation also mentioned its relationships with fact-checking organizations.

AI deepfakes

AI is this year’s newest threat, as technological advancements make it easier than ever to create lifelike images, video, and voice. AI deepfakes are appearing in elections around the world, from Moldova to Bangladesh.

Senthil Nayagam, founder of Muonium AI, feels there is an increasing market for deepfakes, particularly among politicians. In the run-up to the election, he had several questions about creating political videos with AI. “There’s a market for this, no doubt,” he told me.

Some of the fakes produced by Nayagam include deceased politicians and are not intended to be taken seriously, while other deepfakes circulating online have the potential to mislead voters. Modi has underlined the threat.

“We need to educate people about artificial intelligence and deepfakes, how it works, what it can do,” he stated.

India’s Information and Technology Ministry has asked social media companies to eliminate disinformation, including deepfakes. However, experts argue the lack of specific regulation or law focusing on AI and deepfakes makes it more difficult to combat, leaving it up to voters to decide what is true and what is fiction.

Ankita Jasra, 18, a first-time voter, says these ambiguities make it difficult to know what to believe.

“If I don’t know what is being said is true, I don’t think I can trust in the people that are governing my country,” she went on to say.

Source: The Associated Press

Geoff Thomas is a seasoned staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. With his sharp writing skills and deep understanding of SEO, he consistently delivers high-quality, engaging content that resonates with readers. Thomas' articles are well-researched, informative, and written in a clear, concise style that keeps audiences hooked. His ability to craft compelling narratives while seamlessly incorporating relevant keywords has made him a valuable asset to the VORNews team.

Election News

RFK Jr Tells Media Biden Should Drop Out of 2024 Election



RFK Jr Tells Media Biden Should Drop Out of 2024 Election
RFK Jr. Demands Biden Take ‘No Spoiler Pledge’ To Drop Out Of Race: Image TMZ

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. told national media this week that incumbent President Joe Biden should withdraw from the 2024 election contest to prevent former President Donald Trump from recovering the White House.

“We only have one shot to defeat Donald Trump, and we need a nominee who can do the job. And that would be me,” Kennedy stated during a 30-minute presentation on campaign polling at a rented location in downtown Brooklyn.

Kennedy then urged Biden to make a “No Spoiler Pledge” and resign from the race if he performed lower than Kennedy in a head-to-head showdown with Trump in a survey of 30,000 or more people in mid-October.

Kennedy stated that he would be pleased to make a similar pitch to the former president, but Trump “is not a spoiler because he can actually win.”

The address appeared to be a response to both parties’ criticisms on his capacity to influence the general election. Kennedy has come under fire from Trump in particular in recent days, with the former president claiming on social media that backing Kennedy was a “wasted vote.”

Democrats have not been hesitant in criticizing Kennedy, either, forming an organization with professional campaign strategists to tackle third-party dangers like Kennedy.

According to Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Matt Corridoni, Kenendy’s request to have Biden quit out is “as deeply unserious as his campaign is.”

Polling Show Biden Can’t Beat Trump

Kennedy and his campaign manager, Amaryllis Fox Kennedy, offered a survey from John Zogby Strategies, a business that has worked with both the campaign and a Kennedy-aligned super PAC, as proof that he should remain in the race rather than Biden.

According to the poll, Kennedy would defeat the former president if Biden or any other Democratic Party contender were not running.

“Is it possible that President Trump will participate in the election but not win? Yes, there is just one. “And that scenario is that President Biden admits that he cannot win,” Fox Kennedy stated during the presentation.

Fox Kennedy stated that calling on Biden to drop out of the race is fair because the DNC has also asked Kennedy to quit.

The Trump and Biden campaigns did not return a request for comment.

Any possible choice to drop out in October would be far too late to influence election results — mail and early voting begins in some states as early as September — and would almost certainly split the Democratic vote.

Younger Generation Prefers Kennedy

The Kennedy campaign’s presentation did not include any results for a three-way contest. Kennedy has roughly 11 percent support in national polls against Biden and Trump, according to a RealClearPolitics polling average, which is well short of what is required to win any Electoral College votes.

However, the polling presentation was well-received by Kennedy volunteers at the news conference and provided welcome new talking points.

“I’m always talking to people on Instagram, and they say, ‘he’s a spoiler,’ and ‘a vote for Kennedy is a vote for Trump,'” said Queens resident Alexis Leyco, 28. “I am excited. I’m absolutely going to use this.

According to Will Boothby, the Kennedy campaign’s Northeast regional director, over a dozen volunteers canvassed prior to the event and collected 500 signatures. The campaign is seeking to collect roughly double the 45,000 signatures required to place Kennedy’s name on the ballot in New York, and hundreds are arriving every day, he added.

Boothby said that much of the support for Kennedy’s petitions comes from younger people who are concerned about issues such as student loan debt and affordable housing, followed by older veterans from across the Empire State.

The campaign did not disclose how many signatures it currently has in New York, which has one of the higher signature requirements to get on the November ballot.

Kennedy’s ability to collect those signatures and defend his candidacy against legal challenges from both parties will determine how influential he is in the November election. “People who believe that I am spoiling at this point for President Biden,” stated Kennedy, “need to look at data.”

Source: Politico


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Election News

Thousands Descend on New York’s South Bronx for Trump Rally



Thousands Descend on New York's South Bronx for Trump Rally
Former President Donald J. Trump at a rally in the Bronx: Reuters Image

Thousands of people have gathered on the South Bronx in New York for Donald Trump’s historic event on Thursday night, as he attempts to do what many believe is impossible: turn New York red for the first time since 1984.

Former President Trump’s devoted supporters braved heavy rain to gather at Crotona Park, hours before he was scheduled to take the stage in the deep-blue district that Joe Biden won with more than 60% of the vote in 2020.

Supporters lined up to listen to MAGA rappers, display tattoos honoring the GOP leader, and insist he can follow Ronald Reagan by winning in the Empire State.

People holding Dominican Republic and US flags chant while waiting in line to attend a demonstration for former US President Donald Trump at Crotona Park in the Bronx, New York.

Trump Resonating with Voters

While the gathering was not as diverse as the South Bronx as a whole, it did contain a considerable number of Black and Hispanic voters, with Spanish spoken throughout.

Ed Rosa, who made the short trek from the North Bronx, said he regrets voting for Biden in 2020 and intends to support Trump in November.

He believes the Democratic Party has “become too socialist” and is concerned about the economy and immigration crossing the southern border.

“For 50 years I was a Democrat and switched in the last three or four years,” said Rosa, 60, whose family is from Puerto Rico.

Some in the audience replied by yelling “Build the Wall,” a reference to Trump’s quest for a border barrier between the United States and Mexico while he was in office.

Trump portrayed himself as a better president for Black and Hispanic voters than Biden, slamming Biden’s immigration policy.

Biden’s Race Based Ads

He emphasized that “the biggest negative impact” of the flood of migrants in New York is “against our Black population and our Hispanic population, who are losing jobs, housing, and everything else they can lose.” They are the most affected by what is going on.”

On Thursday, the Biden team aired a pair of TV and radio ads criticizing Trump’s treatment of Black people. These included erroneous accusations that Barack Obama, the first African American president, was not born in the United States, as well as calls for the death of a group of Black and Hispanic adolescents convicted but later exonerated of raping a white lady jogging in New York’s Central Park in 1989.

Janiyah Thomas, Black media director for the Trump campaign, said in a statement that Biden was attempting to divert attention away from “terrible policies that are harming our community,” and that as a senator, Biden helped advance a bipartisan crime bill in 1994, which resulted in more Black men being imprisoned.

Source: Daily Mail, AP

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Election News

British Prime Minister Sunak Announces July 4th National Election



British Prime Minister Sunak Announces July 4th National Election
British Prime Minister Sunak Announces July 4th National Election: Reuters Image

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a general election on Wednesday, citing July 4 as the date. After 14 years in power, his Conservatives are widely likely to lose to the opposition Labour Party.

Sunak, 44, stood outside his Downing Street office and announced that he was calling the election sooner than expected, a dangerous strategy given his party’s polling position.

“Now is the time for Britain to choose its future,” he added, highlighting highlights of his tenure in office, including the implementation of the so-called furlough program, which assisted businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We will have a general election on July 4.”

Sunak enters the election not only considerably behind the Labour Party in the polls, but also somewhat isolated from others in his party, relying on a small team of advisers to guide him through what promises to be a nasty campaign.

But, with some economic benefits, such as decreasing inflation and the economy growing at its quickest rate in over three years, he appears to have concluded it was time to take a risk and formally offer his program for a new term to voters.

Parties Prepare for Election

The former investment banker and finance minister took office less than two years ago and has since battled to explain his values, growing more upset that what he regards as his accomplishments have gone unnoticed.

Both parties have almost begun campaigning for the election, with their attack lines on the economy and defense already well defined.

Sunak and his government accuse Labour of being prepared to raise taxes if elected, and that the party would not be a safe set of hands for Britain in an increasingly perilous world because it has a plan, which the opposition disputes.

Labour accuses the government of 14 years of economic mismanagement, which has left people worse off, as well as a series of chaotic administrations that have failed to provide the stability that businesses want to stimulate growth.

If Labour wins the election, Britain, historically recognized for its political stability, will have six prime ministers in eight years, a first since the 1830s. Prior to the declaration, Labour stated that it was more than ready for an election.

“We are totally prepared to go whenever the Prime Minister declares an election. We have a fully structured and operational campaign ready to go, and we believe the country is ripe for a general election,” Labour leader Starmer’s spokeswoman told reporters.

Labour Ahead by 20 Points

Last week, Starmer launched his party’s election campaign by promising to “rebuild Britain” and outlining the first steps Labour would take if it formed the next administration.

Labour is roughly 20 percentage points ahead of Sunak’s Conservatives in opinion surveys, but some party officials are anxious that their lead is not as strong as it appears, worrying that many voters are undecided.

Sunak may be attempting to play on this uncertainty while also confusing Labour, which has yet to nominate all of its parliamentary candidates, according to a party veteran.

Sunak will also hope that economic achievements and the first flights in his centerpiece immigration plan, which involves sending illegal asylum seekers to Rwanda, will bolster his party’s fortunes. The earliest probable date for these flights is June 24, ten days before the election.

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