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ORF report on hate speech on Facebook in India

22 April 2018

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"In July 2017, Facebook users in India crossed 240 million, pushing past its user base in the US and making India the largest audience for the social platform. Globally, India accounts for over 10 percent of Facebook’s users, making the platform a unique place to create, engage in, inform and influence opinions and debate in the country.

The exponential growth in the use and popularity of Facebook is a result of its ability to facilitate positive interaction with friends and family and larger communities, and disseminate information efficiently. Despite its benefits, however, Facebook is also being misused by a small but growing number of people to engage in abusive or hateful speech targeting individuals or communities. Such speech often contains provocations that lead to violence or extremism. To effectively counter violent extremism and initiate an alternative narrative, it is imperative to understand the extent to which hate speech occurs.

Efforts at Countering Violent Extremism (or CVE in internationally accepted terminology) online have become an important focus for all social networks. CVE targets violent, extremist ideologies at their core, tackling them via alternate narratives that focus on peace-building through community interaction. It has thus become an invaluable tool to supplement counterterrorism strategies worldwide."


Encouraging counter-speech by mapping the contours of hate speech on Facebook in India
by Maya Mirchandani with Dhananjay Sahai, Ojasvi Goel | 2018 by Observer Research Foundation