General Election 2024: Helping with elections is an important job for Google. We want to support our users and the democratic process. In Pakistan, people will vote in the national election on February 8 to choose representatives for the National Assembly and Provincial Assemblies. We promise to work with the government, industry, and civil society to give voters useful and trustworthy information. We also aim to ensure our platforms are safe and not misused.
Helping voters find useful information:
Before elections, people need helpful information to understand the voting process. We provide reliable information through our product features, displaying data from trustworthy, nonpartisan organizations. This information guides users on how and where to vote across our products.
Making election information accessible:
• Google Search:
We’ve set up our search systems to show important and reliable election information. The Google homepage will have links to guide voters on ‘how to vote’ and ‘how to register to vote.’
We highlight news and election-related content from trusted sources through our recommendation system. This includes local and national news on the homepage, in search results, and the “Up Next” panel, connecting people to high-quality election news.
• Google Trends:
We’ve created a Google Trends page to help the media and the public explore what voters care about in the election. It shows the top queries, topics, and interests related to the parties running in the elections. The page also shares data on the most-searched election topics in each part of the country, like the economy, taxes, and wages. It doesn’t show voting intentions but provides insights into what people seek.
• Google News Initiative:
We conducted workshops to provide journalists with the right resources for their election news coverage. This includes teaching them about tools for verifying news, ensuring digital security, and using Google Trends.
Farhan Qureshi, who leads Google in Pakistan, mentioned, “Before the election, we’ve been working hard to help Pakistanis who plan to vote by providing them with helpful online information about the election. We’ve also supported the news industry, training journalists and newsrooms to report trustworthy news before the election. We’ve just introduced a Google Trends page for the Pakistan General Election, making it simpler for the media to access this data for their stories.
Safeguarding our platforms from abuse
Protecting the integrity of elections also means keeping our products and services safe from abuse. Across Google and YouTube, we have long-standing policies to keep our platforms safe, which apply to everyone and for all types of content, including elections. Our YouTube Community Guidelines include policies against hate speech, harassment, incitement to violence, technically manipulated content, and certain types of election misinformation. We rely on machine learning and human reviewers to identify and remove content that violates our policies – between July and September 2023, and we removed over 8.1 million videos and over 10 million channels globally for violating our Community Guidelines on YouTube.
General Election: Protecting Our Platforms:
Ensuring the elections are fair means ensuring our websites are safe from misuse. Google and YouTube have rules to keep everyone and all types of content, including election-related, secure. Our YouTube guidelines forbid things like hate speech, harassment, calls for violence, manipulated content, and certain types of false election information. We use a mix of computer programs and human reviewers to find and delete content that breaks our rules. From July to September 2023, we removed over 8.1 million videos and over 10 million channels worldwide for not following our YouTube guidelines.
Upholding Election Integrity on YouTube and Google Platforms
Qureshi underscores the significance of ensuring fair elections on YouTube, emphasizing establishing effective rules and systems to support the country’s electoral process. This involves not only aiding users in accessing accurate information but also swiftly removing rule-violating content through the utilization of machines and trained reviewers. The overarching objective is to foster a secure community while fostering various perspectives on YouTube.
At Google, our mission is making global information easily accessible and beneficial. We are dedicated to delivering voters dependable and valuable information online.
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