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Google partners with ECI to support 2024 Indian general election

Google has mandated identity verification and pre-certification by the Election Commission of India for advertisers running election ads on its platforms.

Ahead of general elections in India, Google is dedicated to ensuring a reliable election process by providing voters with high-quality information, protecting its platforms from misuse, and assisting users in navigating AI-generated content.

Google requires advertisers seeking to run election ads on its platforms to undergo identity verification, present a pre-certificate issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI) or an authorised entity, and include in-ad disclosures indicating the sponsor of the ad. Additionally, the company enforces long-standing ad policies that prohibit the promotion of demonstrably false claims detrimental to trust or electoral participation.

Furthermore, the company promotes transparency by consolidating all election ads into a searchable hub, providing insights into advertisers' identities, locations, and ad spending.

Google is backing Shakti, India Election Fact-Checking Collective, which comprises news publishers and fact-checkers in India. This collaboration aims to proactively identify online misinformation, including deepfakes, and establish a shared repository for news publishers to address the widespread challenges posed by misinformation during elections.

Google's advertising policies already prohibit the use of manipulated media, such as deepfakes or doctored content, to mislead users. The company has taken steps to enhance transparency by introducing labels for content generated using YouTube's AI features, like Dream Screen. In future, YouTube will implement a requirement for creators to disclose when they have produced realistic altered or synthetic content. Additionally, a label will be displayed to viewers, indicating when they are watching such content.

"We have begun to roll out restrictions on the types of election-related queries for which Gemini will return responses. About this Image in Search helps people assess the credibility and context of images found online. Our double-check feature in Gemini evaluates whether there is content across the web to substantiate its response," says a blog published by Google for supporting the 2024 Indian general election.

Gemini has now initiated restrictions on specific election-related queries to ensure the delivery of high-quality information.

Google is partnering with the Election Commission of India (ECI) to make essential voting information easily accessible on Google Search in both English and Hindi. Additionally, during election season, YouTube features informative panels on topics like voter registration, the voting process, and candidate details.

"Moreover, we have information panels that indicate funding sources from publishers that receive public or government funding, and information panels giving topical context for topics prone to misinformation," the blog adds.

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