January 15, 2021

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Fb Denounces Hate and Bigotry, Its India Chief Says Amid Content material Row

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Fb is a non-partisan platform which denounces hate and bigotry, the corporate’s India head mentioned on Friday, amid an argument over how the US social media large regulates political content material in its largest market by variety of customers. Fb and its high lobbying govt in India, Ankhi Das, have confronted criticism after a information report mentioned she opposed making use of hate-speech guidelines to some Hindu nationalist people and teams, and to a politician from India’s ruling get together who had referred to as Muslims traitors in Fb posts.

“The selections round content material escalations usually are not made unilaterally by only one particular person … the method comes with strong checks and balances,” Fb’s India head, Ajit Mohan, wrote in an internet submit titled “We’re open, clear and non-partisan”.

Reuters this week reported that some Fb staff in america and past had raised questions in inside boards about whether or not satisfactory content material regulation practices have been being adopted by the India staff.

In an inside open letter to Fb’s management, 11 staff demanded that firm leaders acknowledge and denounce “anti-Muslim bigotry” and guarantee extra coverage consistency. One supply had mentioned there was a debate taking place internally at Fb about content material moderation processes.

The controversy has been sparked by a latest Wall Road Journal report that mentioned Das informed employees that making use of hate-speech guidelines to politicians near India’s ruling get together “would harm the corporate’s enterprise prospects within the nation”.

“We take allegations of bias extremely severely, and need to make it clear that we denounce hate and bigotry in any kind,” Mohan mentioned within the submit.

“Now we have eliminated and can proceed to take away content material posted by public figures in India when it violates our Group Requirements.”

Fb has been battling political fallout in India in latest days. The opposition Congress Get together criticised Fb for its insurance policies, whereas some ruling-party lawmakers have accused it of censoring nationalist voices.


An Indian parliamentary panel on data know-how will query Fb executives on the way it regulates content material within the nation, a panel member informed Reuters on Friday.

Fb has been summoned to seem on September 2 and the dialogue with Fb will final for 30 minutes.

“The topic is severe due to Fb’s in depth attain in India … and the potential for hate speech to incite violence and different illegal behaviour,” mentioned the panel member, who declined to be recognized.

Fb – which has greater than 300 million customers in India, its largest market – didn’t reply to a request for touch upon being summoned by the panel.

Fb has lengthy confronted criticism for high-profile content material moderation points.

Its soon-to-be-operational content material Oversight Board, which some have dubbed the corporate’s “Supreme Courtroom”, mentioned it was dedicated to defending customers.

“How Fb treats posts from public figures that will violate the Group Requirements are throughout the scope of the board,” the board informed Reuters in an announcement.

“We cannot draw back from the robust instances and holding Fb accountable,” mentioned the board, which has powers to overturn selections by the corporate and Chief Government Mark Zuckerberg on whether or not particular person items of content material ought to be allowed or not.

Two Oversight Board members informed Reuters on situation of anonymity they’d not been briefed on the latest India points. Considered one of them mentioned anti-Muslim hate speech is a matter the board was taking note of extra usually.

Fb was dealing with the matter internally for now, but it surely was potential the India challenge might grow to be one of many instances the board evaluations when it begins work in October, mentioned the second member.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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