A Facebook Executive Who Shared An Anti-Muslim Post Has Apologized

A top Facebook executive in India apologized to the Muslims in the company for posting a post on their Facebook page in which the Indian Muslims were described as a “degenerate community” for whom “nothing but purity Religion and Implementation of the Sharia Issue ”.

“Dear friends – I did not want to denigrate Islam with my personal Facebook post,” wrote Ankhi Das, Facebook’s political director for India, South and Central Asia, in an internal message to the staff at BuzzFeed News. “It should reflect my deep belief in the celebration of feminism and citizen participation. I appreciate all of the perspectives I’ve heard about receiving the post in the past few days, so I deleted the post. I sincerely regret that this has resulted in injuries, including to my Muslim colleagues in the company. “

The post, which she shared in late 2019, was drafted by a former Indian police officer in response to protests against a discriminatory citizenship law that expedites Indian citizenship for South Asian immigrants belonging to most major religions except Islam.

That did not, however, directly address a Wall Street Journal story earlier this month that reported that they were punished for violating T. Raja Singh, a member of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata party, and at least three other Hindu nationalists Facebook’s hatred had protected language rules telling employees that it would be bad for Facebook’s business in India. Singh, a BJP politician from the Indian state of Telangana, is known for his anti-Muslim hate speech. In posts on Facebook, he reportedly called for the slaughter of Muslims, the shooting of Muslim immigrants from Rohingya and the destruction of mosques.

In comments on Das’ post, some Muslim Facebook employees pushed back and urged Facebook to do better.

“Thank you for acknowledging that the post harmed the Muslim community. It’s a first step in the right direction, ”said one person. “As a company, we now have to reflect honestly on our platform about hate speech and Islamophobia against Muslims. In a market in which public figures like T. Raja Singh use and incite blatant hate speech [sic] Violence against the Muslim community must be done more to protect the vulnerable. The person also requested that Facebook label the Hindu supremacist organization Bajrang Dal and others they like as “dangerous”, which can result in organizations and individuals being bumped off Facebook platforms.

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“[As] A company that we need to investigate more closely in order not to blame but to reform our processes, ”said another Muslim Facebook employee. “Pointing blame doesn’t work, structural change does it, and I believe we owe it to ourselves, our colleagues, our company, our users and the world to do this, as it helps us bring the world closer together and better build communities . “

The comments reflected the sentiments expressed in a letter from members of an internal Facebook board for Muslim workers to Facebook leadership last week. The letter, first reported by Reuters, urged Facebook to overhaul its structure to bring together the content policy and government lobbying teams, add Muslim workers to its political team in India, and Hindu extremist organizations as dangerous organizations under the hatred of the company’s language rules.

Facebook did not respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment.

The Journal story about one of Facebook’s most influential executives, who has been with the company since 2011, sparked a political firestorm in India. On Tuesday, a committee made up of members of the BJP and the Aam Aadmi party in New Delhi will question the role of Facebook in riots in New Delhi in February, in which two-thirds of the more than 50 people killed by Hindu mobs as Muslims have been identified. An Indian parliamentary body will also question Facebook executives on September 2 about the company’s language regulation guidelines in India.

Hours after the report was released, Das received threats of abuse and death on her Facebook and Instagram accounts, as well as on Twitter. In a police complaint, Das named six Facebook and Twitter accounts, including one belonging to a journalist, and asked the police to investigate them and keep their home safe.

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