The disclosure of Frances Haugen, who made headlines around the world earlier this week as “the Facebook whistleblower “, includes numerous indications to promote separatism and racial violence in India.
Her main claims to Facebook’s work in India are that RSS-related pages promote ” fear mongering, anti-Muslim narratives”, that the absence of Indian language editors led to unrestricted speech on the platform here, and that the BJP uses one user multi-talk accounts – even affecting neighboring Bangladesh.
Haugen, a former data scientist on Facebook, recently told the US Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that the global communications company was “promoting global diversity and racial violence”, including in India.
A Facebook spokesman told a newspaper on Thursday that the company had made a huge investment in securing hate speech, which has seen a sharp decline.
In May, Haugen, 37, resigned from the communications giant, who had previously been part of a “public watch” that monitored global election disruption. The party was disbanded following a US 2020 presidential election.
Last month, he filed at least eight complaints with the SEC, a US market regulator, using the NGO’s Whistleblower Aid. He made public his allegations in CBS News earlier this week and later testified at the US Congress.
FB’s internal leaked article, “Adversarial Harmful Networks – India Case Study”, was quoted in one of the SEC’s complaints uploaded to the CBS News website.
Last year, The Wall Street Journal quoted unnamed staff and Facebook staff who said the forum allowed BJP legislatures that promoted violence, on the advice of Ankhi Das, then public policy officer in South and Central Asia, linked to RSS.
An internal survey not posted on Facebook, cited by Haugen, revealed that the posts that received the most comments were fake.
“40% of Top VPV (View Port Views, or appearing) Civic Posters in West Bengal were fake / inauthentic / fake. The highest VPV user who will be tested as a trustee has a rating of more than 30M on L28 (28 days ago),” said one of the complaints.
Another leaked internal article entitled “Lotus Mahal” was quoted as suggesting that BJP encouraged its members to have multiple Facebook accounts, which is illegal but cripples social media as the practice is linked to provocative content.