The internal documents of Facebook show “a struggle with misinformation, hate speech and celebrations of violence” in India, says a US media report.
The report said the researchers at the social media giant point out that there are groups and pages “replete with inflammatory and misleading anti-Muslim content” on its platform.
A Facebook researcher created an account in February 2019 to look into what the social media website will look like for a person living in Kerala, the report said.
“For the next three weeks, the account operated by a simple rule: Follow all the recommendations generated by Facebook’s algorithms to join groups, watch videos and explore new pages on the site,” the New York Times report said.
“The result was an inundation of hate speech, misinformation and celebrations of violence, which were documented in an internal Facebook report published later that month.”
“Internal documents show a struggle with misinformation, hate speech and celebrations of violence in the country, the company’s biggest market,” the report added.
The documents are part of the material collected by former Facebook employee Frances Haugen.
Data engineer and whistleblower Haugen recently testified before the US Senate about the company and its social media platforms.
It has been reported that the internal documents of the social media giant include details on how bots and fake accounts tied to the “country’s ruling party and opposition figures” were wreaking havoc on India’s national elections.
The newspaper reported that in a separate report produced after the 2019 national elections, the social media giant found that “over 40 per cent of top views, or impressions, in the Indian state of West Bengal were fake/inauthentic”.
It said one inauthentic account amassed over 30 million impressions.
The documents showed that Facebook did not have enough resources in India and was not able to grapple with the problems including anti-Muslim posts.
The report quoted a Facebook spokesperson as saying that the company strengthened its hate classifiers to include four Indian languages.
The company has reduced the amount of hate speech that people see by half this year, the Faceboook spokesperson said.
“We’ve invested significantly in technology to find hate speech in various languages, including Hindi and Bengali. As a result, we’ve reduced the amount of hate speech that people see by half this year. Today, it’s down to 0.05%. Hate speech against marginalized groups, including Muslims, is on the rise globally.”
“So we are improving enforcement and are committed to updating our policies as hate speech evolves online,” the report quoted the Facebook spokesperson as saying.