Facebook Deleting Inflammatory Content In India

By David Cohen 

Facebook has been complying with a request by the government of India and removing “inflammatory and hateful content” that has caused tens of thousands of people to flee their homes due to fears of retaliation for communal violence in the northeastern state of Assam that left at least 78 dead, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Internet was being used to spread rumors of retaliatory attacks, and the Indian government shut down some 245 websites, as well as turning to Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Microsoft for help, according to the Journal.

Facebook is asking users to flag content that fits the description, and the social network said in a statement, as reported by the Journal:

Facebook will remove content that breaches our terms.

India’s Department of Electronics & Information Technology said in a statement of its own, according to the Journal:

A lot more and quicker action is expected from (social-networking sites) to address such a sensitive issue, which concerns restoring peace, harmony, public order, and national security.

Facebook is also due in trial court in the country Sept. 22 — along with co-defendants Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and Google-owned entities YouTube, Orkut, and Blogspot — in a case resulting from a complaint by Indian journalist Vinay Rai, based on an Indian law that requires Internet companies to remove within 36 hours any material that is deemed “ethnically objectionable, grossly harmful, defamatory, or blasphemous.”

Readers: How much responsibility do you think Facebook should bear for the content posted on the social network by its nearly 1 billion users?

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