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Read how Google is Helping Pakistani in election 2024

As Pakistanis is heading towards general elections to elect representatives for the National Assembly and provincial assemblies on February 8, Google said in a press release there products are helping Pakistanis in elections 2024.

“We are committed to working with government, industry, and civil society to connect voters with helpful and authoritative information, and keep our platforms safe from abuse,” it said.

Connecting voters with helpful information

Google said “since people need useful and relevant information to help them navigate the electoral process, it makes reliable information easily available with helpful product features, showing data from trusted, nonpartisan organisations on how and where to vote across our products”.

The company said “its Google Search is designed to elevate authoritative information and provide context to users on a variety of elections related information”. Furthermore, the Google homepage will have links that direct voters to authoritative information on ‘how to vote’ and ‘how to register to vote’, it said.

On YouTube, it said, its recommendation system prominently surfaces content and relevant context from authoritative sources, including local and national news sources on the homepage, in search results and the “Up Next” panel, to connect people to high-quality election news and information.

Whereas, it said, Google Trends helps the media and public explore what voters care about this election. Google Trends page helps surface the top queries, topics, and interests in parties running in the elections. The page also includes data on the top election-related topics searched in each part of the country, such as the economy, taxes and wages, among others, it added. “This does not reflect voting intentions but it does provide unique insights into what people are searching for,” it clarified.

Products of Google

Google said under ‘News Initiative’, it ran a series of workshops to equip journalists with the right resources to inform their news coverage during elections, including teaching them about tools for news verification, digital security, and using Google Trends.

Google’s Country Director for Pakistan Farhan Qureshi said, “In the lead-up to the election, we have focused our efforts on supporting Pakistanis who are expected to cast their vote by helping them connect to useful and relevant election-related information online. We have also invested in the news ecosystem and trained journalists and newsrooms on reporting authoritative and credible news ahead of the election cycle. Recently, we launched a Google Trends Pakistan General Election page to make it easier for the media to find this data for their stories.”

Safeguarding our platforms from abuse

Google revealed that it removed more than 8.1 million videos and 10 million channels globally within three months between July and September 2023 for violating its community guidelines on YouTube.

“We rely on a combination of machine learning and human reviewers to identify and remove content that violates our policies,” it said.

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It said protecting the integrity of elections also means keeping its products and services safe from abuse.

Qureshi said, “Election integrity is a top priority for YouTube, and we’ve been working to ensure the right policies and systems are in place to support the country’s elections. On top of connecting people to authoritative and quality information, we remove violative content in a timely manner with the help of machine learning and trained reviewers. Our goal is to maintain the right balance between protecting our community from harm and enabling a diversity of viewpoints to thrive on YouTube.”

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