Facebook has landed itself in hot water over its struggles in curbing hateful content in India.
According to documents from a former Facebook employee obtained by the Associated Press, Facebook has failed to keep up with misinformation and hateful content in India, which serves as the platform’s biggest market with more than 300 million users.
Back in 2019, a Facebook researcher created a completely new account to see what someone living in India would see recommended on their feed. The recommended content the employee received was reportedly Islamophobic and contained fake news.
“The test user’s News Feed has become a near constant barrage of polarizing nationalist content, misinformation, and violence and gore,” one researcher wrote in the report. “I’ve seen more images of dead people in the past three weeks than I’ve seen in my entire life total.”
A spokesperson for Facebook responded to the AP’s report, claiming that the company is “invested significantly in technology to find hate speech in various languages, including Hindi and Bengali” which has allegedly “reduced the amount of hate speech that people see by half” in 2021.
“Hate speech against marginalized groups, including Muslims, is on the rise globally,” the spokesperson added. “So we are improving enforcement and are committed to updating our policies as hate speech evolves online.”
The report arrives just a few days after a reliable source told The Verge that Facebook is planning a rebrand by introducing a new name for the company. The new name is reportedly “a closely-guarded secret” that isn’t known to many within the company, even those in senior position.
Zuckerberg is expected to discuss the name change during Facebook’s Connect conference, which will take place this week on October 28.