Civic Tech

Facebook faces issues in tracking hate content in Indian languages

Experts say Facebook has no mechanism to deal with hate content in local or regional languages.

New Delhi: After whistleblower Frances Haugen accused Facebook of not taking action on fear-mongering and hate content related to India because of “the lack of Hindi and Bengali classifiers,” experts said Facebook has no mechanism to deal with hate content in local or regional languages.

Arvind Gupta, social media expert and head of Digital India Foundation, told IANS, “Whether Facebook accepts it or not, it is a fact that it has no mechanism to deal with content in regional languages and that is why this kind of problem keeps arising.”

Rejecting the bid to link this entire controversy with any political party, Gupta said that it has nothing to do with it. He said that pages using hate mongering are never official pages on Facebook. But it is a fact that Facebook has not yet taken any concrete steps to stop it, he added.

On the question of targeting Hindi and Bengali in particular, he said that such a problem can also be associated with many other languages as Facebook does not have people who understand the local languages.

In a statement to IANS, a Facebook spokesperson said that over the years, they have invested significantly in technology that proactively detects hate speech, “even before people report it to us”.

“We now use this technology to proactively detect violating content in Hindi and Bengali, alongside over 40 languages globally,” the spokesperson added.

“In addition, we have a team of content reviewers covering 20 Indian languages. As hate speech against marginalised groups, including Muslims, continues to be on the rise globally, we continue to make progress on enforcement and are committed to updating our policies as hate speech evolves online,” the spokesperson added.

  • IANS