Former Facebook employee Mark Luckie made scathing allegations against the social media giant on Thursday, saying the Delhi riots could be avoided if Facebook had acted in time and that it can’t trusted with self-regulation.
Luckie said it was true that Facebook was profiting off of hate.
Luckie made these comments during his deposition before the Delhi Assembly’s Committee on Peace and Harmony which is investigating Facebook’s role in the riots that took place in Delhi earlier this year. He was examined by AAP MLA Raghav Chadha.
PTI quoted Luckie, who is based out of Atlanta in the US, as saying, “Facebook would like the world to believe that it is politically agnostic to maintain a safe image, however, it isn’t as agnostic as it claims to be.”
Luckie said that there were gross compromises in implementing community guidelines and that the executive team of the social media giant, including its CEO Mark Zuckerberg, were “generally aware of such gross inaction and misappropriation” of the community standards and other policies of the company, the statement said.
In snippets of the video deposition, Luckie is seen as saying, “Unfortunately, hateful & divisive content often has the most shares, likes or comments which are the metrics that FB uses...Yes, Facebook is profiting off of hate.”
“Facebook actively interferes in what people see and dont see. It influences and aids a lot of these violence & misinformation to continue on the platform,” he said.
ANI quoted a statement from the Delhi Legislative Assembly’s Peace and Harmony Committee as saying, “He (Mark S Luckie) also asserted the events like Delhi communal clashes, Myanmar genocide and Sri Lanka communal violence could have been easily averted had Facebook acted in a more proactive and prompt manner.”
Facebook has not yet commented on Luckie’s deposition.
Facebooks role of spreading hate speech in India has been under scrutiny after a Wall Street Journal article revealed that the top run of Facebook executives in India were in support of the Narendra Modi government.
Two weeks ago Ankhi Das stepped down from her post of Facebook Inc’s public policy director for India, South and Central Asia. She had been accused of supporting Modi openly and had even talked of helping the BJP win the 2014 elections.
WSJ’s August 30 report says Das’s posts supporting the ruling party were made between 2012 and 2014 on a group which had several hundred employees as members. The Facebook group was reportedly designed for employees in India, but was open to the company’s workers globally.
The report quotes a message by Das posted the day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi won the 2014 in India: “We lit a fire to his social media campaign and the rest is of course history.”
In a separate post on Congress’s defeat, Das called Modi a “strongman” and said “It’s taken thirty years of grassroots work to rid India of state socialism finally.”
(With PTI inputs)