Facebook Enabled Anti-Muslim Hate Speech Proliferation In India: NYT, WaPo, WSJ, AP
The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) condemns Facebook for failing to stop the abuse of its platform for the spreading of hate against Muslims across India in recent years, as has been widely reported by the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press citing internal documents of Facebook. IAMC urges US Government to immediately hold an investigation into Facebook’s complicity in the massive expansion of hate speech and violence against India’s 200 million Muslims.
According to Wall Street Journal, inﬂammatory content on Facebook spiked 300% above previous levels after December 2019, when protests against the anti-Muslim Citizenship (Amendment) Act spread, as Facebook’s own researchers wrote in a July 2020 report. Rumors and calls to violence spread particularly on Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging service in late February 2020, when communal violence in Delhi left 53 dead, according to that report. Private Facebook groups made up of like-minded users generated more divisive content. Inﬂammatory content primarily targeted Muslims, the researchers wrote.
Stunningly, Facebook official Andy Stone acknowledged to New York Times that “Hate speech against marginalized groups, including Muslims, is on the rise in India and globally.” Internal researchers wrote that there were groups and pages “replete with inflammatory and misleading anti-Muslim content” on Facebook. Citing leaked documents, Associated Press reported that Facebook in India had been “selective in curbing hate speech, misinformation and inflammatory posts, particularly anti-Muslim content.”
Washington Post reported that a Facebook researcher who created a fake account to understand hate speech was “flooded with pro-Modi propaganda and anti-Muslim hate speech,” referring to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The entire reportage are based on “Facebook Papers” provided by whistleblower Frances Haugen to the US Securities & Exchange Commission.
Hindu Extremist Militia Bajrang Dal Attacks TV Film Crew
In a sign of exploding intolerance against free speech, an extremist mob belonging to the Bajrang Dal, a militia of the Hindu rightwing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and affiliated with Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), attacked a film crew shooting for a television series. The attackers stoned the sets of the series called “Ashram,” threw ink at its director, veteran Indian filmmaker Prakash Jha, and broke windscreens of two buses in the central Indian city of Bhopal.
The mob claimed that the serial “hurt” the religious sentiments of the Hindu community as its storyline covered abuse of women by a self-styled preacher. Shockingly, no arrests have yet been made. Ironically, the lead actor in the series is a Bombay film industry veteran Bobby Deol, whose brother, Sunny Deol, is a member of Parliament from the BJP, as is his stepmother, all film actors. His father, Dharmendra, had been two-term BJP MP previously.
Indian Cricketer Trolled For Being Muslim Because India Lost To Pakistan In Cricket Match
The IAMC condemns the vicious attacks on Mohammad Shami, an Indian cricketer, following India’s loss to Pakistan in a match on October 24 (Sunday). The vilest abuses have been hurled at Shami on Twitter accusing him of being a traitor and pro-Pakistan, a country that many Indians consider their archenemy.
The vicious attacks are a consequence of years’ long campaign of anti-Muslim hatred that the Islamophobic RSS has spread across India, poisoning Hindu-Muslim relations and destroy social harmony.
The trolling has been so bad the several past cricketers have felt compelled to speak up in his support. Another Muslim cricketer, who has since retired, tweeted that he had never faced such ugly trolling anytime the Indian team lost the match. Notably, none in the Modi government, nor in his BJP have stood up for Shami. This would be the same as an African American sportsperson being accused of anti-American play merely because their team lost a match.