YouTube approved dozens of ads promoting voter suppression and incitement to violence ahead of the upcoming election in India, according to a new investigation by the rights groups Global Witness and Access Now, shared exclusively with TIME.

India, a country often described as the world’s largest democracy, will hold its election in seven phases between April 19 and June 1 of this year. Voters are set to decide whether to return Prime Minister Narendra Modi to rule the country for a third term, or to deal his Hindu nationalist political project an unlikely defeat. In a calendar year where more than half the world’s population will vote in at least 65 different national elections, India’s is by far the biggest. It will also be a crucial test—ahead of the U.S. election in November—of social media platforms’ ability to tackle election disinformation, following a spate of job cuts across the industry.

To test YouTube’s ability to prevent disinformation on its platform, Global Witness and Access Now submitted 48 advertisements containing election-related content prohibited by YouTube rules. The ads were written in three different languages widely spoken in India: Hindi, Telugu, and English. Within a 24-hour review period, YouTube approved 100% of the ads. Global Witness and Access Now then withdrew the ads before they were published, meaning no voters were exposed to their contents. BILLY PERRIGO

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