Perspective 1: The Power of Silence
In the past few weeks, the term ‘Love Jihad’ has become widespread on social media, as more and more people raise awareness about the case of the Hindu girl and Muslim boy who were stopped from marrying. Despite the marriage being a consensual decision by both parties, a group named Bajrang Dalal forcefully halted this marriage on the false grounds that the girl was being forced into this marriage, and arrested her husband. This is just one of the many acts of violence this group has performed in India. Despite this, Facebook has refused to ban these bigots from the site.
The human rights staff at Facebook lists India as one of the top countries where minorities need to be protected. Yet, Facebooks continues to tolerate these extremists on its platform, despite the blatant breach of the website’s policies against hate speech. This allows Bajrang Dalal and supporters of the group to voice their prejudiced thoughts and spread messages of violence to even more people, leading to a surge in hate crimes in the country and the cyberbullying of those belonging to minority groups. The group’s presence on the platform has only harmed the other civilians using Facebook and leaves yet another stain on the company’s reputation.
Perspective 2: Following the Money
India is Facebook’s largest market, boasting 346.2 million users. Recently, it has come under fire in the country for failing to ban the Hindu nationalist group, Bajrang Dal, for hate speech, despite an alleged internal report flagging it as a “dangerous organization”. The controversy lies in the company’s reasoning behind their moves regarding the matter. Facebook fears that action against politically affiliated groups could damage its business prospects in India, since the Indian government has already demonstrated its willingness to ban apps in the past, regardless of how widely they are being used.
Furthermore, it is concerned that moves against these groups could threaten the safety of its staff. However, newly appointed Facebook India Head Ajit Mohan has said that the matter of the internal report is “fake news” and that the company’s fact-checking team found no fault in Bajrang Dal’s content.
Source: Economic Times
Source: Indian Express