Facebook has been caught red-handed helping Indian extremists

The South Asian country is the American firm's biggest market, with more than 300 million users.

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Social Media Giant Facebook has found itself in the middle of yet another controversy, this time by allegedly ignoring the hate content from members of the governing Indian party BJP and other right-wing groups.

According to a report by Buzz feed news, The Facebook India Executive, Ankhi Das, has shared a post that labeled Muslims in India as a ‘degenerate community.’

Facebook has been under fire after The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Mr. Ankhi Das declined to implement the company’s hate speech policies to the BJP members and other ‘Hindu nationalist individuals/organizations.

The tech firm has ignored Mr. Ankhi’s hate speech policy and allowed anti-Muslims posts on its platform to avoid ruining its alliance with India’s ruling party, The BJP.

Open Letter to Facebook

The Verge Journalist, Russell Brandom, has reported that a coalition of 41 civil rights groups has been calling Ankhi Das to step down from his position due to the increasing bigoted conflict in India.

The groups sent a public letter stating their complaints to the Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, on Wednesday. They referred to an escalating potential for Facebook-fueled violence in the country.

The groups write, “Facebook should not be involved in offline violence, much less another genocide, but the pattern of inaction demonstrated by the company is negligent to the point of conspiracy.”

Among the signatories were The Global Project against Hate and Extremism, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Witness, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The Executive Vice President for Strategy at the Global Projects against Hate and Extremism, Haydee Bayrich, “It is a good time for Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook to take anti-Muslim hatred seriously, and transform how its policies are implemented in Asia and across the world.”

In the letter, the group cites a range of violent acts linked to Facebook, from Genocide in Myanmar to the recent shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

To break the pattern of hatred towards the Indian Muslims, the groups demand the immediate removal of Ankhi Das.

Why Facebook is favoring Hindu Nationalists

The South Asian country is the American firm’s biggest market, with more than 300 million users. Simultaneously, the company’s messaging app, WhatsApp, has nearly 400 million users in the second-most populous country of the world.

Facebook’s alleged favoritism towards Hindu nationalists is not the first time the tech company has been accused of supporting right-wing groups.

In 2019, a campaign group Avaaz said the tech giant was failing to rein in a “tsunami” of hate posts igniting ethnic tensions in India’s northeast state of Assam.

A report published in 2019 by a South Asia research organization, the Equality Labs, showed that Facebook groups sharing anti-Muslim content included supporters of Narender Modi’s party.

Moreover, they were also linked to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu nationalist paramilitary organization, and the ideological parent of the BJP. It was discovered that 93% of the hate speech reported to Facebook was not removed.

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