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Facebook Services Are Used to Spread Religious Hatred in India, Internal Documents Show

Company researchers identified calls to violence that coincided with the 2020 riots in Delhi that left 53 dead.

10/24/2021 8:00:00 AM

Facebook's services are used to spread religious hatred in India, internal documents show. Company researchers identified calls to violence that coincided with the 2020 riots in Delhi that left 53 dead.

Company researchers identified calls to violence that coincided with the 2020 riots in Delhi that left 53 dead.

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Facebook spokesman Andy Stone declined to comment on the Hindu nationalist groups’ activities on Facebook, but said that the company bans groups or individuals “after following a careful, rigorous, and multidisciplinary process.”He said some of the reports were working documents containing investigative leads for discussion, rather than complete investigations, and didn’t contain individual policy recommendations.

The company has invested significantly in technology to find hate speech across languages, and globally such content on the platform has been declining, he said.“Hate speech against marginalized groups, including Muslims, is on the rise globally,” he said, adding that the company is improving enforcement and committed to updating its policies.

Facebook has a lot at stake in India, with more than 300 million Facebook users and more than 400 million people on WhatsApp. The company last year said it is investing $5.7 billion to expand its India operations and help boost the country’s nascent digital economy.

Facebook’s top executive in India reports directly to the core leadership team of Mr. Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive officer, in Menlo Park, Calif., underscoring the country’s importance to the company. And, unlike in many developing markets, Facebook has staff on the ground in India.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Mark Zuckerberg at a Facebook town hall meeting at the company’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters in 2015.Photo:David Paul Morris/BloombergIndia’s government has threatened to jail employees of Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter Inc. if they didn’t comply with data or take-down requests, the Journal

reported in February, as authorities sought to quash political protests and control speech on foreign-owned tech platforms. India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology didn’t respond to requests for comment at the time, and later disputed the Journal’s reporting.

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The country of more than 1.3 billion has deep social and religious divisions that periodically erupt into fatal confrontations. Users in the country speak 22 major languages, making content moderation challenging, and many people have limited digital literacy.

In the July 2020 report, called “Communal Conflict in India,” one Muslim man in Mumbai was quoted as telling researchers that “if social media survives 10 more years like this, there will be only hatred.” Unless the company does a better job of policing content that encourages conflict, India will be a “very difficult place to survive for everyone,” he said, according to the report.

from the files“If social media survives 10 more years like this, there will be only hatred.”from the files“If social media survives 10 more years like this, there will be only hatred.”from the files“If social media survives 10 more years like this, there will be only hatred.”

Source: Facebook July 2020 internal report titled, ‘Communal Conflict in India Part I’Among the researchers’ recommendations for tackling inflammatory content was that Facebook invest more in resources to build out underlying technical systems that are supposed to “detect and enforce on inflammatory content in India,” the way human reviewers might.

Researchers also suggested creating a “bank” of inflammatory material to study what people were posting, and creating a reporting system within Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging app that would allow users to flag specific offending messages and categorize them by their contents.

Mr. Stone declined to comment on the proposals. He said Facebook invests in “internal research to proactively identify where we can improve” over the long term. Given Facebook’s massive global audience, “everything that is good, bad, and ugly in our societies will find expression on our platform,” but “we don’t benefit from hate,” he said.

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The researchers, in a report early this year called “Adversarial Harmful Networks: India Case Study,” said that much of the content posted by users, groups and pages from the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh group, or RSS, is never flagged. That’s because Facebook lacks sufficient technical systems for detecting material in the Hindi and Bengali languages, the researchers said.

Mr. Stone said Facebook has technical systems in place to catch offending material in five languages spoken in India, including Hindi and Bengali, and has human language expertise in many more languages. He said the company continues to work to improve its systems.

Researchers also found pro-RSS users on Facebook were posting a high volume of content about “Love Jihad,” a conspiracy theory that is spreading online and has gained traction in recent years. Proponents of the theory claim there is a plot by Muslim men to lure Hindu women with the promise of marriage or love, in order to convert these women to Islam.

Other material highlighted as inflammatory that Facebook found to be propagated by pro-RSS entities included assertions that “Muslim clerics spit on food to either ‘make it halal,’ or spread Covid-19, as a larger war against Hindus,” the researchers wrote.

from the filesThere were a number of dehumanizing posts comparing Muslims to “pigs” and “dogs” and misinformation claiming the Quran calls for men to rape their female family members.from the filesThere were a number of dehumanizing posts comparing Muslims to “pigs” and “dogs” and misinformation claiming the Quran calls for men to rape their female family members.

from the filesThere were a number of dehumanizing posts comparing Muslims to “pigs” and “dogs” and misinformation claiming the Quran calls for men to rape their female family members.Note: Third-party images have been pixelated and some names redacted. An RSS spokesman declined to comment on Facebook’s internal documents.

Source: 2021 Facebook internal report titled, ‘Adversarial Harmful Networks: India Case Study’Facebook hasn’t designated the RSS for removal “given political sensitivities,” the document says. Prime Minister Narendra Modi worked for the RSS for decades.

A spokesman for the RSS declined to comment on Facebook’s internal documents, or the RSS’s use of Facebook’s services. “Facebook can approach the RSS anytime” about any issues related to the group’s activities, but hasn’t done so, he said.A spokesman for Mr. Modi’s office didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Thousands of people took part in the funeral procession for two brothers who were killed during the wave of deadly violence in Delhi last year.Photo:Javed Sultan/Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesIn a separate report this year, researchers said another Hindu nationalist organization called the Bajrang Dal had previously used WhatsApp to “organize and incite violence.”

One report said the group is linked to Mr. Modi’s political party, and had been considered for designation as a dangerous group, which would result in a permanent ban, and listed under a recommendation: “TAKEDOWN.” Bajrang Dal remains active on Facebook.

A spokesman for Mr. Modi’s political party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, declined to comment.Facebook had balked at removing the Bajrang Dal from the platform following warnings in a report from its security team that cracking down on the group might endanger both the company’s business prospects and its staff in India and risk infuriating Mr. Modi’s political party, the Journal

reported last year.Facebook said at the time that the company enforces its policy on dangerous individuals and organizations globally without regard to political position or party affiliation. A Bajrang Dal spokesman said at the time that its members don’t take part in illegal activities and that it doesn’t have conflicts with other religious groups.

Asked about the internal Facebook reports, a spokesman for the Bajrang Dal said its members don’t promote hate speech on Facebook. “If they say we have broken the rules, why haven’t they removed us?” he said.The Journal reported last year that Facebook’s top public-policy executive in India

opposed applying Facebook’s hate-speech rulesto a Hindu nationalist politician, along with at least three other Hindu nationalist individuals and groups flagged internally for promoting or participating in violence, according to current and former employees. The executive, Ankhi Das, didn’t respond to requests for comment at the time.

She later, saying in an internal post provided by Facebook that she had decided to step down to pursue her interest in public service. The company last month announced the appointment of a new head of public policy in India.The Facebook Files Read more: The Wall Street Journal »

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F B must remove such posts of religious intolerance in India which is for unity in diversity. FB leadership should be tried domestically and internationally. The only way to be leashed…. مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي جميعها سلاح ذو حدين Lately liberal press is haunting $FB because Zuck disagreed with Biden admin on vaccine misinformation. Twitter hosting terror outfits like Taliban, ISIS, LeT, etc. is totally cool for the same liberal journalists.

Okay, forget break up FB. It should not be obvious FB needs to be destroyed. Wipe the slate clean, start over. Really? Well who's responsible for the spreading of hate before social media? Simple answer: TV and Print Media. Now they're hating FB because they want to be back in making WAR business. One Of The Most Shameless History For A Brand, From The Most Enterprising Frontiers. FB Should Stop The Rebranding Plans, Get ITs Reliance On The Best Of Technologies & Modes Of Treating, Serving Content, Correct.

That can be a reason to shut down FB. 'Religious hatred' in INDIA (Modi's HINDUSTAN) means anti-Muslim... but there is also anti-CHINA racial hatred which has spread far beyond India with Hindus constantly trolling Chinese + website articles in English by or about China + Chinese websites... 🤨 They don't care if the whole world suffers so long as they make the money.

Facebook dithered in curbing divisive user content in IndiaNEW DELHI, India (AP) — Facebook in India has been selective in curbing hate speech, misinformation and inflammatory posts, particularly anti-Muslim content, according to leaked documents obtained by The Associated Press, even as its own employees cast doubt over the company’s motivations and interests. and they're not liable because of the sec 230 exemption DeleteFacebook DeleteFacebook accounts and break up the corrupt company.

RT : Facebook's services are used to spread religious hatred in India, internal documents show. Company researchers identified calls to violence that coincided with the 2020 riots in Delhi that left 53 dead. (via Doesn't surprise me. Yeah, keep complaining about infrastructure. Helo pak Facebook is not perfect & it does have a fair share of monopoly. However, authorities are coming up with issues, not because they care about the people, but they see the world changing with fast information. FB is fast & flexible. Mainstream media feels threatened too.

Way to go Facebook Long story short its the black sheep’s of the society, use Facebook and other social media tools to create hatred and plot such brutal killings and religious hatred specifically towards Christians and Muslims in India. This hatred has increased a lot under current BJP party rule They are doing more and more damages to the world. They need to be restricted more by the law and regulations.

Delete FSBook Are you kidding? Mass violence happened even when people couldn’t read. Problem is not media, but what is Transmitted

Facebook failed to curb anti-Muslim content in India, says leaked reportFacebook was aware of anti-Muslim content in India but took little action in a bid to maintain good relations with the country's right-wing Prime Minister Narendra Modi Old news. Facebook India is controlled by Hindutva ideologues. This is our internal matter…we are not like to advice our country internal matter like so called turkish kattar muslim chanel….and kattar muslim president erdogan 🖕🏻🇹🇷🖕🏻

SaveBangladeshiHindus Facebook is making the entire world more polarized. It knew it, but decided more money was worth turning the world against itself. Facebook needs to be stopped. Facebook is at a tricky position in India. There is no algorithm behind WhatsApp to amplify viral messages. WA users spontaneously and intentionally forward viral messages. Would the massive pro-RSS WA users complain, if Facebook aggressively censors pro-RSS content on WA?

Social media does this. Social media is poisonous So we’re newspapers and word of mouth before it. Facebook is a tool not an ideology. Stop blaming the messenger. Realities can't be changed by putting all their own blunders on FB. ppbajpai SkyNews HinaAltaf78

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