Over the past few years, we have seen Facebook, the largest social media site in India, becoming a major political hub. In particular, in a way that incites violence, hatred and gossip continue to spread before our eyes. True information does not reach people as fast as rumours and violent speeches.
It is well known that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is the foremost party in India that uses social media, including Facebook, for its political campaign and sowing ideas. Allegations have surfaced that Facebook, which is viewed as public, has been in favour of the ruling party. The Wall Street Journal of the United States has published an essay on Facebook claiming that Facebook is pro-BJP in India and does not eliminate hate speech by members of that party.
Wall Street Journal article
On August 14, 2020, the Wall Street Journal published a review article entitled “Facebook’s Hate-Speech Rules Collide With Indian Politics“. Facebook, the world’s largest social media site, has been accused of bending over backwards and ignoring the hate speech of party members. The reason is the intervention of Ankhi Das, the Indian official of Facebook, said their current and former employees.
For example, D. Raja Singh, a BJP MLA from Telangana, has been exposing violent, hate speech against Muslims on Facebook posts and public platforms calling for the shooting death of Rohingya Muslims in India, calling Muslims as traitors and forcing their mosques to be demolished. However, it has been mentioned that Facebook has not deleted the posts and Facebook account of T. Raja Singh’s bad speeches. His Facebook page is constantly running.
Ankhi Das has warned of the direful political consequences if BJP MLA D. Raja Singh is identified as a “dangerous person” on Facebook, and there are other reasons, Facebook spokeswoman Andy Stone told the Wall Street Journal in an interview. However, he told the Wall Street Journal that he was considering banning the BJP MLA’s Facebook page.
“Looking at India’s racist violence and recent religious tensions, they argue that his (BJP MLA) speeches will lead to real-world violence and that he should be permanently banned from corporate sites around the world. According to the former employees, radio presenter Alex Jones in the United States, Louis Forgan, leader of the Nation of Islam, and several white supremacist organizations have been punished”, mentioned in this article.
Some examples like this are mentioned. Most importantly, BJP MP Anand Kumar Hedge wrote on his Facebook page that the Corona conspiracy as “corona jihad” and also accusing Muslims as they’re spreading the coronavirus in the country.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Ankhi Das did not respond to the allegations. Political parties in India have been raising allegations over an article in the Wall Street Journal.
Already, many rumours are swirling around Facebook, now it is shocking that Facebook is not removing and taking action for hate speech and posts for political reasons. If this continues, Facebook will become a mere place to spread violence and hate speech.