The leak of Facebook Papers by whistleblower Frances Haugen highlights some damning revelations about Facebook’s role in the spread of hate content in India.
As per the documents, Facebook allowed provocative posts to spread which were capable of inciting a mob. Facebook’s algorithm recommended posts filled with hate speech, misinformation, and celebration of violence. In countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar, India, and America the social media tool acted as fuel to the fire.
Facebook has Weaponised the internet to attack democracies. Undoubtedly political polarisation and violence are the highest of all time.
Earlier this week several news organizations published multiple internal documents from Facebook. Popularly known as the Facebook papers, these papers expose the struggle within Facebook. It highlights how Facebook allows fake news, misleading information, and inflammatory content to spread.
Just before the Delhi riots hate content spiked to 300%
The report shows that Facebook allowed misleading anti-Muslim content and hate speeches. The report shows a 300% rise in inflammatory posts in December 2019, At this time anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests gained momentum in the country. Provoking content shared on Facebook is responsible for polarising the fragile conditions of the time.
The company failed to eliminate hate elements from the platform as it did not have the right tool to flag or handle the flood of content Hindi and Bengali
Shocking insights from the Facebook Papers
According to the whistleblower, Facebook is deceiving the world when it comes to hate speech. The platform claims to move 90% of the hate speech but in reality, Facebook takes down less than 5% of hate speech
She says facebook pushes anger and hate content from both the extremes of left and right. Anger and hate is the easiest way to grow on Facebook. The algorithm is designed in that way. Since 2017 posts with the angry emoji were ranked higher than likes
Facebook was well aware of the ground reality
Facebook knew that its platform spread hate and the company knew about the realities. It chose to hide all of it and remained silent. It is a clear red flag for all democracies.
Security agencies with this kind of information could mobilize in advance, they could have deployed forces to maintain communal harmony.
Facebook stacks money while putting lives at risk.
Amid all this, Facebook shares shot up, It makes exponential profit as more and more users are joining Facebook
There are around 3 billion active users on Facebook, around half the planet’s population uses Facebook every day. Facebook is in the middle of this enormous scandal. At the same time, it is making money hand over fist
Consensus over regulations on giant tech companies is a must, until then platforms like Facebook will profit from hate content.