Pre and post 2019 polls: Facebook memos flag anti-minority post surge
Multiple internal Facebook reports over the last two years red-flagged an increase in “anti-minority” and “anti-Muslim” rhetoric as “a substantial component” of the 2019 Lok Sabha election campaign. A July 2020 report specifically noted there was a marked rise in such posts in the preceding 18 months, and that the sentiment was “likely to feature” in the coming Assembly elections, including West Bengal.
The increase in hate speech and inflammatory content was mostly centred around “themes” of threats of violence, Covid-related misinformation involving minority groups, and “false” reports of Muslims engaging in communal violence.
These reports are part of documents disclosed to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and provided to the US Congress in redacted form by the legal counsel of ex-Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen…. The posts from RSS and BJP affiliated groups, on the other hand, carried a high volume of “love jihad” content with hashtags “linked to publicly-visible Islamophobic content”, the internal report noted….