What’s the news: On May 31, 2023, Meta’s shareholders rejected Proposal 7, a document addressing allegations of hate speech and other concerns against Facebook, in the preliminary voting during the Annual Shareholder Meeting of the company. According to the Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF), Proposal 7 was the only one of the 13 proposals being put to vote that looked at India. https://twitter.com/internetfreedom/status/1663967178696130562 What is Proposal 7? Titled ‘Assessing Allegations of Biased Operations in Meta's Largest Market’ or simply Proposal 7, it seeks to address issues regarding hate speech dissemination, failure in addressing risks and political bias, and concerns about content moderation and transparency against Facebook. According to Access Now, the proposal also asked the company to publish the full content of the Human Rights Impact Assessment from 2019. Why it matters: India is Meta’s largest user base with over half a billion Indian users using its services. However, incidents like the 2020 Delhi riots have shown Facebook’s influence in serving as a catalyst of religious violence—from disseminating anti-Muslim hate speech to failing to flag posts and speakers who pose risks in this regard. There’s also the fact that Meta's content moderation is limited, leaving out India’s 22 officially recognized languages other than English. Considering all this, it is not absurd for the concerned groups to demand more accountability and transparency of Meta’s operations in India. However, the company’s glib rejection of the proposal not only comes across as disheartening but also endangers a large chunk of its demographic. Fight for…
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