Facebook took down the Kisan Ekta Morcha's page on Sunday evening leading to criticism over its move. Facebook restored the page after some hours claiming it was taken down after its automated system flagged the page as "spam".
Kisan Ekta Morcha is a collective of farmer unions protesting against the new farm laws passed by the Central government. At 7.18 pm on December 20, the Kisan Ekta Morcha took to Twitter to announce that their Facebook page had been taken down after being flagged as spam. It accused Facebook of silencing the voices of farmers peacefully protesting.
Facebook's move was widely condemned and saw the hashtag #ShameOnFacebook trending on Twitter.
In a statement, Facebook said that the page was restored within hours after it became "aware of the context". Facebook said that its automated systems had found "increased activity" on the Kisan Ekta Morcha's Facebook page and flagged it as spam resulting in its suspension. While the Facebook page was taken down, the Kisan Ekta Morcha's Instagram account was unaffected, the social media giant added.
Facebook has come under fire for its alleged bias towards the Bharatiya Janata Party and other Hindu right-wing groups. In August, the Wall Street Jounal accused Facebook of not taking action against BJP members who violated its hate-speech policies fearing a backlash.
According to the WSJ's story, Facebook India's Public Policy head Ankhi Das advised the platform not to take action against hate speech by BJP members to avoid "damaging the company's business prospects in the country". Following the uproar, Das left Facebook in October "to pursue interests in public service".
The WSJ followed up with another story on December 13, 2020 where it claimed that Facebook did not act against the Hindu right-wing group Bajrang Dal fearing it's business prospects as well as the safety of its staff in India. The WSJ claimed that Facebook's safety team recommending taking down Bajrang Dal's Facebook page after finding that the group "supported violence against minorities across India and likely qualified as a dangerous organization".
However, Facebook India Managing Director Ajit Mohan deposed before a parliamentary panel and said that it's fact-checking team did not find any content posted by Bajrang Dal that violated its social media policies.
BOOM is part of Facebook's third-party fact-checking program, which is separate from Facebook's internal fact-checking teams that Mohan spoke about.
Do you always want to share the authentic news with your friends?