Facebook has said it is taking steps to combat hate speech and misinformation in India as the world’s largest democracy begins its monthly multi-stage elections in four major countries.
“We recognize that there is some kind of content, such as hate speech, that can lead to inevitable harm offline,” said the social media giant in blog post from March 30.
Facebook has come under fire worldwide for alleged shortcomings in the control of hate speech. In the United States, the social media giant has been holding political, campaign and social advertisements for months to take action against misinformation and abuse around the November 3 presidential election.
In India, the company’s best lobbyist left last year after Report on the Wall Street Journal proposed the way in which the social media network regulates the political content in the country, favors the ruling party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Opposition parties have questioned the company’s policies since the report, but California-based company Menlo Park says it “remains committed to an open and transparent platform.”
The elections in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam, Kerala and the Puducherry trade union are a test of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity amid a fierce protest by farmers against new agricultural laws that have sparked discontent at home and abroad.
“To reduce the risk of problematic content going viral in these countries and potentially inciting violence before or during elections, we will significantly reduce the spread of content that our proactive detection technology identifies as hate speech or violence, and incitement, “Facebook said.
He also created election day reminders to provide voters with accurate information and encourage them to share it with friends on Facebook and WhatsApp, the company said.
© Thomson Reuters 2021
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