Report on Facebook ignoring anti-Muslim hate-speeches by India’s Hindu nationalists causes row

Facebook’s executive in India refused to apply hate speech rules to Hindu nationalists

Did not want to ‘ruin relationship’ with India’s governing party

Facebook has instead fired the employees who shared the details with WSJ

In an article published late on Friday, the Wall Street Journal cited interviews with unnamed Facebook insiders to claim that the company’s senior India policy executive Ankhi Das intervened in internal content review processes to stop a ban on BJP’s Telangana MLA T Raja Singh, who made communally charged posts targeting the Muslim community.

Facebook ignored this kind of hate speech policy and allowed anti-Muslim posts on its platform to “avoid ruining the social media company’s relationship with India’s governing party,” says the report in the Wall Street Journal.

Ankhi Das, the report added, “told staff members that punishing violations by politicians from Mr. Modi’s party would damage the company’s business prospects in the country”.

Facebook denied the allegation and said it was “still reviewing” whether it had to act against BJP’s Telangana MLA T Raja Singh, who made communally charged posts targeting the Muslim community.

The WSJ report said Das, Facebook’s executive in India, refused to apply the company’s hate speech rules to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) politicians and other “Hindu nationalist individuals and groups”.

The news has caused a row in India.

“This expose on Facebook comes as a shock because one expects companies like Facebook to be professionally run and managed. New facts are emerging exposing the close ties of important officials of Facebook India with the BJP. Democracy needs to be insulated from being sabotaged by such unholy collusion,” said Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera.

Shockingly, Facebook instead of correcting course fired a senior engineer this week who collected evidence showing the social media company giving preferential treatment to right wing accounts, according to a report from Buzzfeed News.


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