Facebook condoned hate speech from leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) to appease the Indian government, according to To report From The Wall Street Journal titled “Facebook’s Hate Speech Rules Conflict With Indian Politics.”
India is one of the major markets for Silicon Valley giants, such as Facebook and Google, but it poses a policy issue as the BJP sheds a lot of light on how these companies operate.
Twitter’s chief executive officer, Jack Dorsey, has been summoned by the parliamentary committee in the past for questioning about the platforms’ alleged left-leaning bias.
The platforms often think a lot before taking action on posts incriminating BJP leaders, even if they violate their content policy.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Ankhi Das, the director of public policy at Facebook India, prevented moderators from removing posts, and he did not disclose that the company removed some of the pages run by the BJP.
The newspaper report indicated that Facebook administrators have flagged T. Raja Singh, the leader of the BJP, who said: The Rohingya Muslim immigrants should be killed.
However, Das stepped in and no action was taken on the account, Singh remains active on Facebook and Instagram.
The report also states that Anantkumar Hegde, another leader of the BJP, published cartoons and stories alleging that Muslims are spreading the Coronavirus in light of what he called “Corona Jihad.”
While Twitter suspended his account, Facebook removed some of his posts only last week, but his account is still active on Facebook.
India has a sensitive history with communal riots in Mumbai in 1993, in Gujarat in 2002, and in Delhi this year, with hundreds of people losing their lives in these riots.
And these aforementioned posts could have consequences for initiating events that Facebook may not be able to control.
The company said in a statement: We prohibit hate speech and content that incites violence, and we apply these policies globally regardless of anyone’s political position or party affiliation.
“We know there is more work to be done, but we are making progress in implementation and conducting regular audits of our process to ensure fairness and accuracy,” she added.