Saturday, April 16, 2016

Is Facebook India team soft on hate-mongers: Blocks sane voices but ignores hate speech, violence threats

It is an extraordinary situation in India, now as Facebook has repeatedly warned or blocked accounts of writers, activists and intellectuals with sane voices.

But the same Facebook is surprisingly soft on hate speech and accounts that share morphed images, indulge in misinformation and spread communalism.

The latest example is the manner in which Facebook blocked and warned Professor Ashutosh Kumar, after he shared a Navbharat Times post that exposed morphed content that was going viral on the social media website.

An image of a Muslim man who was embracing others, was morphed and a photo of an explosion was added, in it. Now this morphed image was being shared widely. When, Navbharat Times' report that exposed this mischief was posted by Ashutosh Kumar, he was asked to take it down.

Surprisingly, Ashutosh Kumar was told that his account would be shut, and later he was told that his account will be permanently closed.

While there is no dearth of Facebook accounts, mostly in Hindi, that share inflammatory content day in and day out, there is no action on them. These accounts, groups and pages are involved in sharing morphed images and even go to the extent of threats and violence, but Facebook doesn't seem concerned at all.

Read post, "Why Facebook gets upset when mischief-makers are exposed?". This is a serious question. Facebook had earlier blocked Dilip C Mandal's account though its official later apologised and restored it.

A possible explanation is that 'organised gangs' are making lot of complaints [report a post] to get accounts that expose their misdeed down, but shouldn't Facebook's officials have the basic understanding that here it is a Navbharat Times news that is exposing hate-mongers.

Or, perhaps, Facebook's staff that is supposed to keep an eye on Hindi content, has soft corner with such hate-mongers and their ideology. Clearly, Facebook's credibility is at stake. You can read Prof Ashutosh Kumar's post.


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