Facebook Found to Have Failed in Curbing Divisive Content in India

Leaked documents have suggested that Facebook in India has been selective in restricting hate speech, disinformation, and provocative messages, notably anti-Muslim content, even as its own workers cast doubt on the company’s objectives and goals.

The leaked documents have shown that Facebook has been aware of the vulnerabilities for years, raising concerns about whether it has done enough to solve them. 

A collection of internal business reports on hate speech and disinformation in India was among the documents exposed. 

Much of it was heightened in some cases due to its own “recommended” feature and algorithms. 

However, the documents also reveal corporate employees’ complaints about the treatment of these issues, as well as their dissatisfaction with the platform’s viral “malcontent.”

Facebook reportedly considered India to be one of the most “at-risk countries” in the world, and designated Hindi and Bengali as priority languages for “automation on breaching violent speech.” 

However, Facebook did not have enough local language moderators or content-flagging in place to prevent disinformation, which at times resulted in physical violence.

With over 340 million members, India is Facebook’s largest market; approximately 400 million Indians also use the company’s messaging application WhatsApp. However, both have been accused of serving as platforms for the transmission of hate speech and fake news against minorities.

The employees also stated that Facebook had not yet “made a nomination for designation of this group due to political concerns.”

According to Facebook, the designations process includes a review of each case by appropriate teams throughout the company and is impartial to location, ideology, or religion, instead of focusing on symptoms of violence and hatred. 

It did not say if the Hindu nationalist organization had been categorized as “dangerous” since then.

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