Civil Rights Groups Challenge Facebook Over Enabling Violence Against India’s Muslims

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Today, a coalition of civil and human rights groups composed a letter to Facebook urging the company to take action against alleged “hate and violence” by its India office. The petition focuses on perceived anti-Muslim bias within the international social media giant.

India is experiencing breakout of anti-Muslim demonstrations and allege hate speech in recent month. For example, Amnesty International recently charged the police department in Delhi as “complicit and an active participant” in February violence that killed more than 40 people Muslims.

Signed by more than 30 civil rights groups, including Muslim Advocates and the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, the letter to Facebook calls attention to its India office failure to take action against anti-Muslim messages by users and organizations.

In part, the letter reads: “Facebook should not be complicit in more offline violence, much less another genocide, but the pattern of inaction displayed by the company is reckless to the point of complicity. The demands in this letter could help avert that disaster. It is no secret, given the acknowledged and harsh realities of Facebook’s role in the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar, that online violence and hate easily spill into violence in real life.”

A statement by Muslim Advocates claimed that Facebook has an international anti-Muslim problem and celebrated the letter by the multiple civil rights organizations.

“Muslim Advocates is working to hold the company accountable for the hate, violence and even genocide that it has enabled. Muslim Advocates is proud to have help shape this letter and has repeatedly warned Facebook about problems with the India office and with anti-Muslim hate content on the platform.”

Facebook has yet to take official action regarding the letter’s complaints. The social media platform did confess in August that it wanted to improve its efforts to curb hate speech. That admission came in the wake of Facebook India failing to eliminate comments by a member of India’s ruling party who accused the nation’s Muslims of being “traitors.”

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