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Facebook to keep a tab on ‘Real’ news vs ‘Propaganda’ ahead of 2019 elections

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Facebook

As India gears up for the elections next year, Facebook, the giant social media platform gears in action with the arduous task dealing with the election-related intervention. The platform stated that it is setting up a task force that consists of “hundreds of people” in the nation to avert bad elements from misusing its platforms.

Richard Allan, Vice-President of Policy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) stated it to the media in New Delhi, “With the 2019 elections coming, we are pulling together a group of specialists to work together with political parties”.

Allan further added, “The team will have security specialists and content specialists, among others, who will try to understand all the possible forms of election-related abuse in India” while addressing a workshop on “community standards” of Facebook on New Delhi.

He noted, “The challenge for the task force in India would be to distinguish between real political news and political propaganda”. He further added, that the team would be based in the country and would comprise of both human resources working on these issues within the new recruits and the company.

Facebook had earlier come under the radar of the policymakers in the US after the accusations of accounts that were linked to Russia using the social networking platform to spread divisive messages during the 2016 presidential election came up.

Since then it has beefed up its efforts so as to keep a tab on the abuse of its platform by bringing in additional transparency in the conduct of businesses, including in the policies of advertisement.

Resounding Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s earlier comments on elections across the world, Allan stated that the social media platform “wants to help countries around the world, including India, to conduct free and fair elections”.

 

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Former Goa Congress MLAs join BJP after resignation

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Congress

New Delhi | Former Goa Congress MLAs  Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte on Tuesday joined BJP after resigning from the party.


Both the Congress MLAs today joined the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) after in the presence of Union Minister Piyush Goyal and Goa BJP leader Sripad Naik. Both the leader had earlier met BJP president Amit Shah in the morning which lead to the speculations of both the lawmakers joining BJP.  Speaking to media after meeting Amit Shah, Subhash Sirodkar said, “We are joining BJP today. We expect 2-3 more MLAs to come, not today but in the coming days.”

When asked about the recent development Goa Assembly speaker Pramod Sawant said, “I received resignation from 2 Congress MLAs Dayanand Sopte & Subhash Shirodkar. They confirmed they’re doing this willingly, without any pressure. I accepted the resignations. The process will be completed, copies will be sent to all members of House, Guv & EC.”  He further added, “Strength of the assembly now is 38. Party strength is BJP 14, Congress 14, MGP 3, Goa Forward 3, NCP 1, independent 3. We have informed EC, it is up to them as to when there should be a by-poll etc.”

The resignation of the two Congressmen proves to be a major setback for the Congress party that demanded a no-confidence motion in the Goa assembly after CM Manohar Parrikkar was admitted to AIIMS regarding his degrading health. In the 40 member Goa assembly, the numbers of the Congress party has been reduced to 14, while the coalition of BJP (16) along with Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (3), Goa Forward Party (3), NCP(1) and 1 independent government has 24 MLAs in the assembly.

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Dhinakaran vows to ‘retrieve’ AIADMK

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Dhinakaran

Chennai | AMMK leader TTV Dhinakran on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on the AIADMK leadership, saying the ruling party has “lost its identity” and was “stuck” due to a “few selfish” people.

The ousted AIADMK leader also claimed that his Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) would ‘retrieve’ the ruling party.

“One cannot deny the fact that the party has lost its identity and ideology and veered away from the path laid down by Amma (the late J Jayalalithaa). It is now stuck due to a few selfish persons,” he alleged without naming anyone.

He was apparently targeting AIADMK Coordinator O Panneerselavam and the Joint Coordinator K Palaniswami, with whom he is in a running feud for control of the ruling party.

Palaniswami is Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu while Panneerselvam is his deputy.

In a letter to partymen ahead of the AIADMK founding day on October 17, Dhinakaran said while the late Chief Minister M G Ramachandran had launched it, Jayalalithaa had taken it forward and made it a popular movement in the state.

But post her death in 2016, “hegemonic forces” had taken over the party, he said in the letter.

Reiterating his oft-repeated charge of the AIADMK being ‘subservient’ to the BJP-led government at the Centre, he said his AMMK would retrieve the AIADMK and restore it to its old pride.

The AIADMK has “lost its identity and become someone’s slave,” he said but did not name anyone.

Dhinakaran claimed 90 percent of AIADMK workers were supporting AMMK and that the rest were in the ruling party due to “selfish motives.”

“AMMK has been the true AIADMK. In the coming days, it will retrieve AIADMK,” he added.

His victory in the RK Nagar bypoll in December 2017 was proof of people’s sentiments as the voters elected him as Jayalalithaa’s successor, he said.

The bypoll was necessitated due to the death of Jayalalithaa in December 2016. Dhinakaran, who contested as an Independent, had defeated ruling party nominee E Madhusudhanan by a good margin.

Earlier, Paneerselvam had in February 2017 fallen out of favour with then AIADMK interim general secretary V K Sasikala and resigned as the chief minister.

Palaniswami was subsequently made his successor by Sasikala, who also appointed Dhinakaran as AIADMK deputy general secretary, before leaving for Bengaluru to serve a four-year jail term in a disproportionate assets case.

However, in August last year, the factions led by Panneerselvam and Palaniswami merged. Later, a party General Council, under the two leaders, expelled Sasikala from the party and annulled all appointments made by her, including that of Dhinakaran.

Dhinakaran has been since critical of the Palaniswami government and has repeatedly vowed to oust it.

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2 Congress MLAs likely to join BJP after resigning from the party

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Congress

New Delhi | The Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) has found a sense of relief for its government in Goa after 2 Congress MLAs held a meeting with BJP president Amit Shah.

According to reports, Congress MLAs Dayanand Sapote and Subhash Shirodkar have resigned from the Congress party and are likely to join BJP. Speaking to media after meeting Amit Shah, Subhash Sirodkar said, “We are joining BJP today. We expect 2-3 more MLAs to come, not today but in the coming days.”

When asked about the recent development Goa Assembly speaker Pramod Sawant said, “I received resignation from 2 Congress MLAs Dayanand Sopte & Subhash Shirodkar. They confirmed they’re doing this willingly, without any pressure. I accepted the resignations. The process will be completed, copies will be sent to all members of House, Guv & EC.”  He further added, “Strength of the assembly now is 38. Party strength is BJP 14, Congress 14, MGP 3, Goa Forward 3, NCP 1, independent 3. We have informed EC, it is up to them as to when there should be a by-poll etc.”

The resignation of the two Congressmen proves to be a major setback for the Congress party that demanded a no-confidence motion in the Goa assembly after CM Manohar Parrikkar was admitted to AIIMS regarding his degrading health. In the 40 member Goa assembly, the numbers of the Congress party has been reduced to 14, while the coalition of BJP (16) along with Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (3), Goa Forward Party (3), NCP(1) and 1 independent government has 24 MLAs in the assembly.

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