WhatsApp is getting ready for the world’s biggest election

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WhatsApp has a powerful platform in India. Sometimes too powerful.

Last year, a spate of lynchings triggered by viral hoax messages on its service put the company at the center of a debate about misinformation in the country, where it has more than 200 million users.
Now it’s bracing for India’s upcoming national elections, the biggest in the world.

WhatsApp is deploying artificial intelligence to clean up its platform ahead of the elections, in which more than 800 million Indians are eligible to vote. It’s also warning India’s political parties against spreading politically-motivated spam messages.

The Facebook (FB)-owned app is using AI tools to detect and ban accounts that spread “problematic content” through mass messaging, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

WhatsApp’s automated systems helped it ban more than 6 million accounts globally in the last three months. The systems monitor and flag suspicious behavior like bulk registrations of similar accounts and users that send a high volume of messages in a short amount of time.

“These efforts are particularly important during elections where certain groups may attempt to send messages at scale,” WhatsApp said.

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