ShareChat takes the shovel to 54,000 accounts, half-a-million content items
Platform has been on a clean-up spree since February to curb fake news, hate speech, spam, misinformation.
ShareChat, a regional social network, is one of the five internet companies that agreed to the Election Commission (EC) of India’s voluntary code to control ‘problematic content’ and bring ‘transparency in political advertising’. Facebook, Google, Twitter, and ByteDance are others that agreed to abide by the code.
“This has been our largest removal of accounts yet. Right now, because of elections, there is increased interest in politics on the platform. We’ve intensified our efforts in policing the platform,” said Berges Y Malu, head for public policy. “We are investing heavily in moderation to keep the platform clean.”
The company uses moderators and artificial intelligence tools as well as user reports to pull down content. The startup did not share details of how much it had spent on the monitoring activity, which runs round the clock. “As an Indian platform, we are committed and vigilant to continue to police the platform for the next six phases of elections. Going forward, for all Indian elections, we will follow the same standard operating procedure,” Malu said.
The takedown figures are as of April 16.
Out of these, 13,195 unique pieces of content were from its politics and news section, 6,431 pieces were marked as factually inaccurate by a third-party fact checking agency, NewsChecker.in.
Some of the posts that ShareChat removed included factually inaccurate statements about the national elections, shared content intended to cause public disorder and create a frenzy among supporters of various political parties and the public.
As part of its engagement with the EC, ShareChat conducted a training session for nodal officers in New Delhi last month. The training included methods through which the EC could report potentially unlawful content for quick redressal.
Earlier this month, Facebook said it was removing 1 million accounts on a daily basis. Facebook, Google, and Twitter have also released a searchable archive for political advertisements in India. ShareChat and ByteDance do not publish advertisements on their platforms yet.
ShareChat allows users to create posts, follow people, consume all types of multimedia content, message one-on-one and even share things onto various other communication platforms. ShareChat counts Shunwei Capital, smartphone maker Xiaomi, SAIF Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners as investors. It is valued at about $500 million.