In India, Facebook struggles to combat misinformation, hate speech: Report


New York: Internal documents at Facebook show “a struggle with misinformation, hate speech and celebrations of violence” in India, the company’s biggest market, with researchers at the social media giant pointing out that there are groups and pages “replete with inflammatory and misleading content” on its platform, US media reports have said.

In a report published on Saturday, The New York Times said in February 2019, a Facebook researcher created a new user account to look into what the social media website will look like for a person living in Kerala. “For the next three weeks, the account operated by a simple rule: Follow all recommendations generated by Facebook’s algorithms to join groups, watch videos and explore new pages on the site. 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,” the NYT report said.

The documents are part of a larger cache of material collected by whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee who recently testified before the Senate about the company and its social media platforms. The report said the internal documents include reports on how fake accounts tied to the “country’s ruling party and opposition figures” were wreaking havoc on national elections.