Microblogging platform Twitter on Monday announced that it is launching multiple multilingual initiatives to facilitate meaningful political debate and to drive civic participation at the upcoming assembly elections. Assembly elections are going to be held in Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Puducherry this year, and Twitter has announced a series of initiatives focused on encouraging informed and healthy conversations among candidates, political parties, citizens, media, and society.

The initiatives include an information search prompt with the Election Commission of India and state election commissions to provide reliable information around the elections. This would include authoritative information about candidate lists, voting dates, polling booths, and voter registration, among other election-related topics. The "election information prompt" will be active in six languages—Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam, Assamese, Hindi, and English—supporting more than 20 hashtags in local languages.

In a bid to tackle misleading information, Twitter will publish a series of pre-bunk prompts across languages, including English, Hindi, Tamil and Bengali, based on content from the national and state election commissions and civil society partners such as Youth Ki Awaz, and Association of Democratic Reforms. The prompts will appear on people’s home timelines and in search, including information about how to register to vote, and details on electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT). The prompts will also serve the public with relevant information on topics connected with voting such as booths, postal ballot, covid-19 restrictions and accessibility. Additionally, the service will focus on debunking critical issues as they arise with a curated Twitter Moment. These Moments are created based on high standards of accuracy, impartiality and fairness and are designed to feature compelling, original, and diverse content.

Twitter, in partnership with Youth Ki Awaaz, is bringing back its multilingual youth discussion series, #DemocracyAdda, aimed at voter literacy and civic participation among young Indians. Twitter will be hosting live video sessions and tweet chats with young citizens, civil society groups, and representative candidates to talk about key issues, including gender equality, employment, education, and health.

Additionally, the platform will be bringing back the video series called #HerPoliticalJourney where women political leaders talk about their personal stories with leading women news journalists.

A custom emoji (an inked finger to represent a citizen who has exercised their right to vote) has also been launched and will be available until 10 May.

"Public conversation is critical during elections, and Twitter is where this unfolds. With digital penetration accelerating in India, more people now have access to credible, authoritative and timely information—crucial tools for exercising their civic rights. By leveraging the power of the Open Internet, we are encouraging people across India to be a part of the #AssemblyElections2021 conversation. None of this would be possible without support from the Election Commission of India and state election commissions, and hope our efforts contribute to healthy and vibrant civic dialogue," said Payal Kamat, manager‐public policy and government, Twitter India.

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