Facebook started as a social media platform; however, over time using its reach, it started gaining political money and attracting hate groups to spread racism. Facebook makes money while the world burns. Yanghee Lee, a UN personnel, says, “I’m afraid that Facebook has now turned into a beast, and not what it originally intended.”
None other than, the United Nations has said Facebook had a “determining role” in stirring up anger against the Rohingya Muslims. In a few countries, experiments run by Facebook’s have helped to accentuate fake stories, while its lucid response in Sri Lanka, has allowed rumours to spark violence. Facebook has also faced sharp rebuttal for laxity in the Philippines, another country where its inaction has made it a platform for spreading hate speech and false information.
If Facebook was not enough to spread rumours, it’s another service, WhatsApp has begun to play a pivotal role in elections. More so in developing countries where it is being used by political parties, religious activists and others to spread information. In India’s last national elections, some WhatsApp messages were used to incite tensions while others were found to be false.
Facebook claims protection as a media company; however, it adheres to none of the rules that media companies follow. When asked to follow media rules, it says, it’s a platform, when challenged as a platform for content ownership, it says it’s a media company. By employing senior officials who are supposedly close to the ruling powers, it has managed to twist rules and avoid being questioned on its hate speech agenda.
Facebook is more like a kingmaker and is meddling in democracies in the world, the company needs to be immediately banned, and its officials should be tried in the court of law for knowingly promoting hate speech. The election commission of India should ban Facebook from the time model code of conduct kicks in, and the embargo should be lifted after the results are declared.
All political parties and leaders should unite against Facebook, as it is a threat to the democratic countries. It’s a perfect tool for dictators to peddle their stories of fame and glory. In the best interest of humankind, people should boycott Facebook, until it pledges to ensure that it will not promote hate speech and fake news.