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Facebook to testify regarding its role in Delhi Riots


Facebook to testify regarding its role in Delhi Riots

Delhi Riots
Photo: The Indian Express

Representatives of Facebook will testify today before India’s Committee on Peace and Harmony over its involvement in the 2020 Delhi Riots.

The fatal riots that engulfed Delhi unfolded in parallel on social media, where Facebook’s algorithms led to religious and communal tension to build and spread to real-life violence. Today’s hearing follows reports suggesting Facebook only removed hate speech, misinformation and inflammatory posts selectively.

Facebook has been condemned for failing to prevent the use of its platform to foment division and incite violence as critics contend the social media giant lacks the resources and expertise to operate effectively in India. Of the 22 officially recognized languages in India, Facebook’s content moderation systems can distinguish only five. Nevertheless, India represents Facebook’s largest market with more than 270 million registered users.

Expect Facebook to deny any wrongdoing regarding the Delhi Riots. Despite claims of ignorance, leaked documents last month reveal Facebook was aware of problems with disinformation and hate speech in the developing world. Of the company’s global budget for classifying misinformation, only 13% is reserved for developing states. The platform will likely face greater issues related to violence and misinformation as it is manipulated by authoritarian regimes and divisive actors for political gains.

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