Meta’s Chatbot in India: Blocking Election-related Queries as General Elections Begin

Meta AI Chatbot Testing in India

Last week, Meta started testing its AI chatbot in India across WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger. But with the Indian general elections beginning today, the company is already blocking specific queries in its chatbot.

Restrictions on Election-Related Keywords

Meta confirmed that it is restricting certain election-related keywords for AI in the test phase. It also said that it is working to improve the AI response system.

Addressing Concerns

The move makes the social media giant the latest big tech company proactively curtail the scope of its generative AI services as it gears up for a major set of elections.

Google’s Similar Approach

Last month, Google started blocking election-related queries in its Gemini chatbot experience in India and other markets where elections are taking place this year.

Meta’s Proactive Measures

Meta’s approach follows a bigger effort the company has announced around what it allows and does not allow on its platform leading up to elections.

Blocking Specific Terms

Meta’s handling of GenAI queries appears to be based around a blocklist. When you ask Meta AI about specific politicians, candidates, officeholders, and certain other terms, it will redirect you to the Election Commission’s website.

Testing Phase in India

This week, the company rolled out a new Llama 3-powered Meta AI chatbot in more than a dozen countries, including the U.S., but India was missing from the list. Meta said that the chatbot will be in the test phase in the country for now.

Future Plans

Currently, Meta AI is not blocking queries about elections for U.S.-related terms. We have asked Meta if the company plans to restrict Meta AI queries during the U.S. elections or in other markets. We will update the story if we hear back.

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