Facebook’s Omission of Hindu Nationalist Terror Groups in ‘Dangerous’ List Is Serious – By Shambhavi Madan
A secret blacklist of individuals and groups used to regulate speech across Facebook’s platforms, instituted by the company in 2012 in the face of growing public concerns over terrorists being recruited through the site – was recently published in its entirety by The Intercept, on October 12, 2021. The 100-page Dangerous Individuals and Organisations (DIO) list contains more than 4000 people and groups, both categorised into Terror, Crime, and Hate, with two additional categories for groups, i.e., Violent Non-State Actor and Militarised Social Movement…. However, what is striking is its near-complete omission of right-wing Hindutva terror outfits and Sangh-affiliated organisations and individuals ….
Just days before the DIO list was revealed to the public, the disclosures of whistle-blower and former Facebook employee Frances Haugen made global headlines, making multiple references to the promotion of ethnic violence in India – citing internal company documents about fear-mongering, anti-Muslim narratives posted by “Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh users, groups and pages” aimed at pro-Hindu audiences, stating that “political sensitivities” prevented Facebook from providing a designation to this group….
For India, the seemingly deliberate omission of known perpetrators of inciting violence from the list reveals Facebooks’ dissonance from its socio-political reality and lack of intent to deal with existing threats to Indian democracy.