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Meta should make India Human Rights Impact Assessment public, say rights groups

With other reports being out in shorter time, Facebook has been accused of dithering on its commitment to protect user rights.

Facebook's India HRIA (Human Rights Impact Assessment) report should be made public in line with the company’s responsibility to respect human rights, a group of 21 rights organisations demanded in a letter addressed to Miranda Simmons, Director of Human Rights at Meta. In November last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that the company had inordinately delayed the release of the HRIA which was commissioned more than a year ago. External researchers who were involved in the report had raised concerns that Facebook was narrowing its scope, changing definitions, etc. Facebook has come under increased scrutiny, especially in India, after whistleblowers exposed the social media platform's inaction on hate speech, among other issues. Facebook doesn't seem to be committed to protecting rights, letter reads Referring to news reports that show a proliferation of hate speech on the platform in India and bias towards the ruling party, the group said that in such a situation the HRIA has to be independent, extensive, and public and any indication otherwise was 'deeply concerning'. Facebook is currently perceived to not be committed to respecting rights in India and thus, to gain the trust of human and digital rights communities and its billions of users, Facebook should show that it is committed to an 'independent, thorough, and ultimately public' HRIA, the group wrote. "We urge the company to release a public, unredacted, and complete India Human Rights Impact Assessment without delay." — The letter Signatories of the letter are the Internet Freedom Foundation, Article 21, Access…

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I cover health technology for MediaNama but, really, love all things tech policy. Always willing to chat with a reader! Reach me at anushka@medianama.com

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