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Facebook Officials During Delhi Assembly Panel Questioning say Don’t Want Hate On Our Platform; Refuse To Share Action Taken On Delhi Riots

NEW DELHI: In an appearance before the Delhi Assembly’s Peace and Harmony Committee in connection with the 2020 northeast Delhi riots, Facebook India public policy director Shivnath Thukral stated that the platform and its advertisers do not tolerate hate speech.

The committee, chaired by AAP MLA Raghav Chadha, addressed various questions about how Facebook India moderates problematic and inflammatory content on the site during the hearing at Delhi Vidhan Sabha.

According to Facebook India official Shivnath Thukral, Facebook proactively finds problematic content on the network and removes at least 97% of such stuff. In the event of a user complaint, he added, acknowledgement is provided within 24 hours and the whole cycle to work on the complaint is completed within 14 days.

According to the representative, 182,000 items were removed from the marketplace in September. According to the officials, Facebook has 1 billion users worldwide. Significantly, India accounts for at least 400 million of the world’s 1 billion users, accounting for 40% of the overall number of users.

The committee requested that Facebook India provide a report on complaints registered with the company about content that violated its community standards one month before and two months after the riots in Delhi. The Committee’s Chairman has also requested the complaint logs received by Facebook India between 01.01.2020 and 30.04.2020, including posts that were reported or flagged by users as offensive/hateful. The Delhi riots of February 2020 killed over 50 people and injured hundreds more.

According to Thukral, everything that happens on Facebook replicates what happens in the real world. He stated that Facebook India and its sponsors do not tolerate hate speech on the site. According to Facebook India’s Public Policy Director, offensive content is proactively removed off the platform by combining Human Reviewers and Artificial Intelligence. He did, however, recognise that these tools are not always flawless and that there is still room for growth.

Thukral, on the other hand, declined to answer a question regarding what steps were done to delete incendiary content submitted on their platform during the Delhi riots.

The panel requested that Facebook India provide the name of the grievance officer in charge during the Delhi riots.

Raghav Chadha also inquired about Facebook’s definition of “hate speech” in the context of India. A representative from Facebook India stated that they would release a document outlining safety guidelines.

According to Thukral, elements such as caste discrimination have been incorporated into community standards. He added that the term of hate speech is also included in the community standards.

Chairman Raghav Chadha stated that the Committee will invite the Facebook executives back for a hearing and make a decision on it.

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