Meta publishes first human rights report -

Meta publishes first human rights report –

On Thursday, Meta, the owner of Facebook, released its first annual human rights report, after years of accusations that it turned a blind eye to online abuses that fueled real-world violence in places like India and Myanmar.

Specifically, the report, which covers assessments conducted in 2020 and 2021, includes a summary of a controversial human rights impact assessment in India, which Meta commissioned the law firm Foley Hoag to conduct. Human rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have called for the full assessment of India to be published, accusing Meta of procrastination in a joint letter sent in January.

Meta does not feel at all comfortable with the information in the report

In its summary, Meta said the law firm noted a potential for “significant human rights risks” involving Meta platforms, including “promoting hatred that incites hostility, discrimination or violence.” It is stated that the evaluation did not investigate “allegations of bias in moderating the content”.

In his opinion, Ratik Asokan, a representative of India Civil Watch International, who participated in the evaluation and subsequently organized the joint letter, told Reuters that the summary seemed to Meta an attempt to “whitewash” the company’s findings.

Thus, “It is clear evidence that they are not at all comfortable with the information in that report,” he said. “At least show the courage to publish the executive summary, so we can see what the independent law firm said.”

For her part, Deborah Brown, a researcher at Human Rights Watch, also described the summary as “selective” and said it “does not bring us any closer” to understanding the company’s role in spreading hate speech or commitments in India. which it will take to address this issue.

Alarm signal from human rights groups

For years, human rights groups have sounded the alarm over anti-Muslim hate speech fueling tensions in India, Meta’s largest global market by number of users.

Meta’s public policy director in India resigned in 2020, following a report by the Wall Street Journal that he opposed the application of the rules to internally reported Hindu nationalist figures for promoting violence.

In its report, Meta said it was studying the recommendations in India, but did not commit to implementing them, as it had done with other rights assessments.