New Delhi: Social networking giant Facebook on Thursday said it has expanded its partnership with BOOM Live to provide fact-checking capabilities in Hindi and Bengali as well as fact-check photos and videos.
In April, the US-based company had introduced a third-party fact-checking programme in India with BOOM Live to combat the spread of "false news" on its platform with a pilot in Karnataka ahead of elections in the state.
"Following fact-checking in English during the Karnataka pilot stage, BOOM Live will now also provide fact-checking capabilities in Hindi and Bengali, and will also fact-check photos and videos, in addition to article links," Facebook said in a statement.
BOOM was mandated to review English language news stories flagged on Facebook, check facts, and rate their accuracy, it said.
Facebook is running similar initiatives in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Mexico, Indonesia, the Philippines and the US.
In the recent past, Facebook has drawn intense criticism from users and governments globally over a number of issues, ranging from false news on the platform to information of over 80 million users being mined by data analytics and political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica.
Facebook has committed to continue strengthening its work and partnerships around news literacy in India and extend it across local languages, partner newsrooms, journalists and fact checkers to build a more informed community, the statement issued today said.
"Through our partnership with BOOM Live we hope to encourage the systemic growth of fact-checking on all platforms," Campbell Brown, Facebook's Global Head of News Partnerships, said.
Besides, Facebook has collaborated with the Asian College of Journalism (ACJ) to establish a Facebook Journalism Project Scholarship programme in India.
"We believe our students will benefit from this powerful initiative. It will provide valuable hands-on experience and the expertise to distinguish informative and trust-worthy news," Sashi Kumar, Chairperson of ACJ, said.
This scholarship programme will support five students from ACJ across four chosen career specialisations: Print, New Media, Radio and Television, the statement said.
"Just as the business of news is constantly changing, the skills and capabilities of our future journalists must also evolve," Brown said.
Taken together, these two initiatives represent a step towards supporting the future of reliable journalism around the world, he added.