In a virtual meeting with employees in June, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke about an Indian leader who threatened to take law into his own hands, setting a “clear precedent” of inciting violence. From the context, Zuckerberg seemed to be referring to the Bharatiya Janata Party politician Kapil Mishra’s February speech in Delhi threatening violence against people protesting India’s new citizenship law.
Within hours of the speech, deadly violence broke out in the country’s capital. Though the video of the speech that Mishra shared on his verified Facebook page was deleted, he remains un-banned from the social media platform. With strict policies on hate speech and incitement of violence, it is a wonder as to how people like Mishra, among others, remain active on Facebook.
Last Friday, a report published by the Wall Street Journal alleged that the company compromised on its hate-speech policy to favor the ruling BJP government. In the article ‘Facebook’s Hate Speech Rules Collide with Indian Politics,’ reporters Newley Purnell and Jeff Horwitz wrote, “The way Facebook has applied its hate-speech rules to prominent Hindu nationalists in India, suggests that political considerations also enter into the calculus.”