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Top Facebook official in India selectively Applied Hate Speech Rules to favour The Ruling BJP Party

Jul 7, 2014
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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2015. DAVID PAUL MORRIS/BLOOMBERG NEWS

Facebook’s Hate-Speech Rules Collide With Indian Politics
Company executive in vital market opposed move to ban controversial politician; some employees allege favoritism to ruling party

By Newley Purnell and
Jeff Horwitz

Aug. 14, 2020 12:47 pm ET

In Facebook posts and public appearances, Indian politician T. Raja Singh has said Rohingya Muslim immigrants should be shot, called Muslims traitors and threatened to raze mosques.

Facebook Inc. employees charged with policing the platform were watching. By March of this year, they concluded Mr. Singh not only had violated the company’s hate-speech rules but qualified as dangerous, a designation that takes into account a person’s off-platform activities, according to current and former Facebook employees familiar with the...
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Read more on their website WSJ (The Wall Street Journal)
 
Jul 7, 2014
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India opposition seeks probe into Facebook's ties with Modi's BJP
Congress calls for parliamentary panel to investigate Facebook and WhatsApp employees' relations with right-wing party.

India's main opposition Congress party has called for a parliamentary panel to investigate what it has described as favourable treatment by Facebook's India team towards the country's governing right-wing party.

Citing a report published by the Wall Street Journal on Friday, the party said employees of Facebook and WhatsApp overseeing Indian content had refused to bar a legislator from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party who had posted incendiary comments to protect the company's "commercial interests".

Facebook deleted the posts instead, the Congress party said.

The WSJ report said hateful posts by at least two other senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) politicians were also deleted after the newspaper made queries about them with the social media company.

"Congress party demands the setting up of a joint parliamentary committee to probe the relations of Facebook and WhatsApp employees with the ruling party," Ajay Maken, spokesman of the Congress party, said at a news briefing on Sunday.

The WSJ report said Facebook's top public policy executive in India, Ankhi Das, refused to apply the company's hate speech rules to some BJP politicians and other "Hindu nationalist individuals and groups".

Maken urged the company to launch an internal inquiry into its Indian oversight team. "This is an issue of Facebook's global credibility," he said.



On Twitter, the former Congress party president, Rahul Gandhi, said the BJP and its ideological mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) "control Facebook and WhatsApp in India".

"They spread fake news and hatred through it and use it to influence the electorate. Finally, the American media has come out with the truth about Facebook," Gandhi posted.

In response, Communications and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad accused the Congress of "weaponising" social media data before last year's parliamentary elections.

Facebook said it banned hate speech and content that incited violence and enforced these policies globally without regard to anyone’s political position or party affiliation.

"While we know there is more to do, we are making progress on enforcement and conduct regular audits of our process to ensure fairness and accuracy," it said.

Facebook Inc's WhatsApp, which counts India as its biggest market with 400 million users, is waiting for regulatory clearances to launch a payment platform.

The company recently invested $5.7bn in Reliance Industries' digital unit, with the aim of serving tens of millions of small shops across India.

https://www.aljazeera.com/
 

Shantanu_Left

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Apr 23, 2020
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Nothing surprising about it. I didn't get banned from Facebook simply for expressing my opinions.

They have a software called "Facebook scanner" or something which senses your intent, LOL.

I mean I could have appealed my ban (and I still get reminders from Facebook) but I will not do it. I did lose many good contacts but still...screw Zuckerburg and his patrons like Modi.
 

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