SFLC.in has written to the Standing Committee on Information Technology chaired by Dr. Shashi Tharoor on the Content Moderation policies of Social Media platforms.
The letter was written in light of the recent allegations that have come forward against social media platform Facebook regarding selectively moderating hate speech in favor of the ruling party on its platform. The Wall Street Journal published an article titled Facebook’s Hate-Speech Rules Collide With Indian Politicsthat came out on 14.08.2020 which raises serious concerns about the influence of social media giant Facebook Inc the electoral process in the country.
Through the Letter, SFLC.in has put forward the following requests in front of the committee –
- An open hearing with all major social media platforms as well as stakeholders including civil society organizations may be held to discuss the content moderation policies that are implemented by these platforms.
- An inquiry into the specific incidents that have been brought to light by the Wall Street Journal article may be conducted. Request to the committee to call for the records including the posts and email/internal communications relating to the alleged incidents from Facebook Inc.and examine them.
- An open call to the public to provide evidence about cases where social media platforms have taken a partisan approach in moderating content by favoring a political party or a group.
Civil society organizations like SFLC.in have been relentlessly working for holding social media intermediaries accountable for content moderation. We have published multiple reports in this regard, some of which are –
- Intermediary Liability 2.0 : A Shifting Paradigm
- The Future of Intermediary Liability in India
- Online Harassment: A Form of Censorship
SFLC.in has also offered to assist the committee in any manner deemed fit by it.