facebook’s content in india is inflammatory and linked to religious conflicts in the country, according to an internal survey of the social platform facebook released on october 23.
in the months after december 2019, facebook was 300 percent more inflammatory than before, according to a july 2020 study disclosed by the wall street journal. during this period, religious protests also swept through india.
in late february 2020, rumors of violence spread on facebook, the report said. during that time, community violence in delhi resulted in 53 deaths. india is known to be facebook’s largest market, with more than 300m users.
hindu and muslim users in india say they see “a lot of incitement to conflict, hatred and violence” on facebook. for example, the spread of the new coronavirus was blamed on muslims and stigmatized muslim women.
two hindu nationalist groups linked to india’s ruling party posted inflammatory anti-muslim content on the platform, but they are still active on the platform, according to two separate reports investigating the facebook team earlier this year.
facebook spokesman andy stone declined to comment on hindu nationalist groups active on facebook, but said the company “follows prudent, rigorous and disciplined procedures” to ban groups or individuals. globally, he adds, hate speech on facebook has been declining.