Facebook has been used to incite and condone violence against followers of the Muslim faith, from Myanmar to Kashmir to Palestine, which is why the social media giant poses an existential threat to vulnerable Muslim communities.

A Middle East Eye report bases this assessment on Facebook's failure to prevent its platform from being used to incite mob violence against followers of the Islamic faith.

Whereas, Palestinian and Kashmiri human rights activists have long complained of having their accounts suspended or permanently deleted after posting videos of Indian and Israeli soldiers committing human rights violations.

In 2018, UN investigator Yang Lee described Facebook as a means of inciting discord, discord, conflict and leading the genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, and said in new statements, "Facebook has now turned into a monster, and has deviated from its goals that it set at the beginning of its establishment."

Challenging 'community standards'

The report says that a recent Wall Street Journal investigation revealed that when it comes to the safety and well-being of vulnerable Muslim minorities, Facebook not only places profits and politics on social and moral responsibility, but also ahead of its stated user policies or what it calls "community standards," as evidenced by Her refusal to punish a right-wing Indian politician for calling for violence against Muslims, as doing so would be detrimental to the company's business.

Facebook Chairman Mark Zuckerberg with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Getty Images)

The report says that this decision should not be viewed as an isolated incident, but rather in the broader context of Facebook's management of its business in a way that puts it in coherence with the Hindu nationalist agenda.

When Te Raja Singh, a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in India, called for the slaughter of Rohingya Muslim refugees, threatened to demolish mosques, and described Muslim Indian citizens as traitors, Facebook employees decided on the Internet to block his account not only for violating community standards, but because his incitement fell under the category of "individuals." And dangerous organizations. "

But Ankh Das, the director of public policy for Facebook in India, stepped in to protect Singh from punitive action, because "punishing violations committed by politicians from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party will damage the company's business prospects in the country," according to Facebook employees cited by The Street Journal.

lowering the gaze

For years, Facebook pages have routinely spread anti-Muslim hate speeches of BJP leaders like Kapil Mishra.

The hatred then translates into deadly violence, like the anti-Muslim attacks in Delhi that left many dead in February in some of the worst sectarian violence the Indian capital has seen in decades.

Indian journalist Rana Ayoub said it was clear that Facebook had no intention of holding the hate mongers accountable, and that user safety was not a priority.

This belief confirms Facebook's reluctance to assist investigators last June after Gambia in a US criminal court requested Facebook to release "all documents and correspondence that were produced, drafted, or published on a Facebook page" of Myanmar military officials and security forces, in order to assess The role they played in the mass violence against the Rohingya.

Stand with the powerful nations

Rohingya activists' hopes were boosted when Facebook's chief of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, admitted that the company had found "clear and deliberate attempts to spread classified propaganda directly linked to the Myanmar military."

Thiet Soi Win, who founded Synergy, a group dedicated to promoting social cohesion in Myanmar, tells the New York Times, “I wouldn't say Facebook is directly involved in ethnic cleansing, but it is responsible for taking appropriate action to avoid being accused of inciting genocide. ".

Facebook rejected Gambia's request, arguing that the release of "all documents and communications" of senior military and police officials was "extraordinarily broad" and would constitute "unlimited private access" to the accounts.

The Middle East Eye report confirms that the profit motive pushes Facebook to stand with the powerful states and against the victims and the oppressed. The idea that Facebook is a neutral platform based on justice and equality for all is clearly an absurd idea, given that it is a for-profit company that bases its business decisions on the pursuit. To achieve higher revenues than ever before.

Facebook is not directly involved in ethnic cleansing, but it should avoid being accused of inciting genocide (Getty Images)

"Only Muslims are prevented"

There is a lot of evidence for this statement in both India and Palestine.

A 2019 report indicated that WhatsApp, now owned by Facebook, blocked or closed around 100 accounts owned by Palestinian journalists and activists, preventing them from sharing information and updates as Israeli warplanes bombed Gaza in November 2019.

Facebook has also been accused of showing favoritism to Israel by classifying vague or commonly used Arab terms or slogans as "incitement to violence", while at the same time turning a blind eye to Israeli accounts that explicitly call for "death to the Arabs."

Marwa Fatafta, a Palestinian writer and policy analyst, says that Facebook "cannot use ignorance as an excuse," noting that "economic and political incentives" explain why social media companies comply with the Israeli government's requests.

Journalists and human rights activists in Kashmir have also accused Facebook for years of monitoring content that casts a negative view on India's security forces.

Four weeks after India abolished Kashmir's self-rule status in August 2019, Facebook suspended dozens of accounts on posts in the disputed region, including the "Stand with Kashmir" page, a page owned and operated by a Chicago-based Kashmiri American.

"Why are Muslims only banned? Facebook is biased by supporting the atrocities committed by the Indian army. Others can say whatever they want, but if Muslims say something they will be banned. It's not neutral," Kashmiri activist Radwan Sajid told the Guardian.

A clear choice

The report says it is clear that Facebook, like much of the international community, is biased against Muslims, because the international community is moving towards the economic and strategic interests of non-Muslim majority countries, with the social media giant taking the lion's share of its profits.

Amarnath Amarasingam, an expert on violent extremism and author of "Sri Lanka: The Struggle for Peace in the Aftermath of War," told Middle East Eye that "many of the most experienced people on Facebook are fully aware of hate speech and incidents of violence against minorities - often Muslim minorities - and they are open to learning about Truth, communication with experts, and finding out the facts on the ground. But at the level of leadership, there are different accounts that play a role in guiding the publishing policy on the platform.

When it comes to choosing between social responsibility and shareholder responsibility, Facebook appears to avoid measures that might hinder greater profits.