On Aug. 14, the Wall Street Journal published a damning story about Facebook’s complicity in aiding and abetting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hate-filled nationalism in India, The exhaustive report examines the role of Ankhi Das, Facebook’s public-policy executive in India, and the social media giant’s refusal to take down the page of T. Raja Singh, a member of Modi’s BJP party who has asked for Rohingya Muslim immigrants to be shot, labeled Muslims as traitors and threatened to destroy mosques.
…Modi’s campaign leading up to his 2014 victory brazenly relied on fake news and propaganda attacking India’s 200 million Muslims. Back in 2013 I wrote a cover story titled “Modi’s Operandi” for Tehelka magazine that examined the crucial role Facebook – along with policymakers and think tanks – was playing in empowering Hindu nationalists and their divisive narrative.
For years now, verified Facebook pages of BJP leaders such as Kapil Mishra have routinely published hate speeches against Muslims and dissenting voices. The hate then translates into deadly violence, such as the anti-Muslim attacks in Delhi that left many people dead in February in some of the worst communal violence India’s capital had seen in decades.