Social media platform Facebook on Tuesday said that it was taking measures to curb the spread of hate speech and misinformation during the ongoing Assembly elections. In a blog post, the US-based company said that it was working closely with election authorities to remove content that breaks rules of the platform and laws in India.
Facebook said that it will reduce the distribution of content that its technology identifies as “likely hate speech or violence and incitement”.
“This content will be removed if determined to violate our policies, but its distribution will remain reduced until that determination is made,” the blog stated.
Facebook has been under fire for failing to curb hate speech in many countries, including in India. In October last year, Facebook India’s Public Policy Director Ankhi Das had stepped down from her post, weeks after she was accused of circumventing the company’s hate speech policies in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Since the development, Facebook India’s Vice-President Ajit Mohan has been summoned by the Supreme Court after the Delhi Assembly’s Peace and Harmony Committee issued him notice over the allegations that the overlooking of hate speech by BJP leaders contributed to the February 2020 violence in the national Capital.
Meanwhile, in the blog published on Tuesday, Facebook added that in its bid to prevent misinformation from spreading, it works with eight third-party fact checkers from India.
“In addition to English, these eight partners fact-check in 11 Indian languages including Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam and Assamese,” the blog mentioned. “When a fact-checker rates a story as false, we label the content and show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution.”
The blog added that Facebook and two of its other platforms – WhatsApp and Instagram – provide reminders to voters on election days and roll out digital literacy campaigns.