Facebook and its failures in removing hate speeches

The criticism expressed on social media goes viral which leads to objectifying Facebook’s terms and conditions

Facebook is a social media platform accessed by people all over the world. The thoughts, opinions, experiences, messages and criticism can be easily spread positively or negatively. Facebook is an international platform where its users are open to sharing their views and perspectives via posts, videos, discussions, debates, memes, and live streamings. However, if any topic goes overboard or viral with criticism, it can lead to online hate speeches. Hate speeches taking place online associates with the discussions of race, caste, sexual orientation, disability, and much more.

All the debates and discussions around these topics may include inputs from politicians, activists and the general population of the country. While the government of the country has no legislation in the virtual world, still there are certain rules and regulations put in effect by Facebook that states, “Facebook removes hate speech, which includes content that directly attacks people based on their: race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender or gender identity, or serious disabilities or diseases".

In the recent past, plenty of such stories have been taking place around us which have been in discussion all over social media. 

Some of the hate speeches :

Anti - Muslim hate speech-

A troll was made by facebook portraying a member of lower Dalit caste. This started the stereotypes against India’s minority group of Muslims. The ad was reported by many users. But it was late, till then thousands of memes, articles, images were made and posted. The mistake made by facebook led to facebook’s failure in keeping up to its own terms and conditions. According to the report, 37 percent of the content was reported by Equality Labs, 43 percent of the hate speeches were removed by facebook itself but was restored within 90 days. This created a huge mess and facebook was blamed for not maintains its standards.

Rohingya refugees fled to India-

It was noted that a person named Mohammad Salim flew to India from Myanmar in 2013. He is a Rohingya Muslim refugee who thought he was free from the occurrences and war crisis taking place in Myanmar. But lately, he has been facing fear of attacks from Hindus and thus has shifted his home four times in past 15 months. This all happened because the Rohingya Muslims were falsely accused of cannibalism. Facebook faced failure in dropping the hate speeches regarding this. This created violence in regions like West-Bengal, with minority Muslim population.  

LGBTQ ads blocked by Facebook-

The Washington Post discovered that dozens of ads highlighting LGBTQ theme were blocked by facebook. But it was later facebook responded that a lot of LGBTQ articles were posted on facebook that objected the “political topic”. A spokesperson, Devon Kearns, emphasized that there are many other ads that come under “political topic” but those were not removed and LGBTQ community is not a political topic. Thus facebook was said to be at fault. 

New Zealand shootings-

New Zealand massacre was live streamed on facebook and this live was viewed by  thousand of people in just 29 minutes. The shooting consumed 50 people in two mosques. The live was later deleted by facebook. But no user reported the video while it was being streamed. Facebook later deleted approximately 1.5 million videos related to the riot within 24-hours. Facebook was charged to develop such tool that could spread this amount of hate and violence with such speed. After two months of the shoot, facebook changed its live stream policies. 

There are still a lot of controversial topics discussed on social media. All these hate speeches online have led to influence people’s mind as facebook being a social media platform. Facebook’s term and conditions do mention that it will block or remove the type of content objecting its policies. But it still lacks the ability to remove the content. It relies more on the users to report these types of content which may be inappropriate or offending to some people. It has been seen that our system has failed to work on the removal of hate speeches online. 

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