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Zuckerberg uses Kapil Mishra’s ‘Delhi riots threat’ to outline Facebook’s hate speech policy

Zuckerberg didn't name Kapil Mishra but referred to the BJP leader's threat of vigilante action against CAA protesters, a post taken down by Facebook.

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New Delhi: BJP leader Kapil Mishra’s controversial speech earlier this year threatening vigilante action against anti-CAA protesters seems to have become a yardstick to judge provocative content on social media. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly quoted Mishra’s threat — although he did not name the BJP leader — as he sought to outline clear social media incitement during a video interaction with his employees Tuesday. 

“And there have been cases in India, for example, where someone said, ‘Hey, if the police don’t take care of this, our supporters will get in there and clear the streets’,” Zuckerberg said.

“That is kind of encouraging supporters to go do that in a more direct way, and we took that down. So we have a precedent for that.” 

The quote has been accessed through a leaked audio of the interaction, which was held amid a churn at Facebook over what is seen as the social media giant’s failure to flag or take down controversial posts made by US President Donald Trump with respect to the ongoing #BlackLivesMatter protests.

Zuckerberg’s quote appeared to be a reference to a speech made by Mishra that is believed to be one of the primary triggers of the Northeast Delhi riots, which killed over 40 people. 

During US President Donald Trump’s visit to India (24-25 February), Mishra had addressed supporters in Northeast Delhi while a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was underway at the Jaffrabad Metro station.

At the rally, he gave a “three-day” ultimatum to the Delhi Police to get the roads cleared of anti-CAA protesters. 

In a video he shared on social media, he was heard saying, “We will maintain peace until (US President) Donald Trump is in India. After that, we refuse to listen to even the police if the roads are not cleared…. we will be forced to hit the streets,” he is heard saying in the video.

He then issued a call through microblogging site Twitter, urging people to gather and “prevent another Shaheen Bagh” protest from taking place in Jaffrabad. 

“A three day ultimatum to the police — to clear the roads and after that please do not try to convince us, we would not even listen to you,” he said in the tweet, which was subsequently taken down by Twitter.

Also Read: 20 Hindus named in fresh Delhi riots charge sheets for killing 2 Muslim brothers

Churn in Facebook

Zuckerberg’s meeting Tuesday with 25,000 Facebook employees was meant to discuss the social media giant’s handling of Trump’s Facebook posts, which have been criticised as glorifying violence. This includes a post where Trump said “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”, which referred to complaints of violence during protests against the killing of George Floyd.

The 46-year-old father, an African-American, died after a policeman knelt on his neck and stayed in that position despite Floyd’s complaints of breathlessness. Floyd, whom police had apprehended for alleged forgery, was in handcuffs at the time.

While Twitter had put a warning label on Trump’s post, Facebook left it as is, reportedly leading to a divide in the social media company.

Explaining Facebook’s action, Zurckerberg said, “We basically concluded after the research and after everything I’ve read and all the different folks that I’ve talked to, that that reference is clearly to aggressive policing — maybe excessive policing — but has no history of being read as a dog whistle for vigilante supporters to take justice into their own hands.” 

The reference to Mishra’s comments were his bid to convince employees that Facebook does act against clear incitement.

Also Read: ‘Hate speech continues on social media’: Ex-RSS ideologue moves HC against Facebook, Twitter


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  1. No let us see what our SC, HC Judges do. This is the time to prove their honesty, equality in giving judgment. Otherwise it’s a blame for Nation

  2. Zuckerberg now knowingly spreading hatred since Twitter is invoking its editorial standards on Trump and he sees an opportunity to replace Twitter for Trump.We Indians should stop using Facebook to teach Zuckerberg.

    • India should log off FB and create its own FB, and be free from American corporate imperialism. They are no one to curtail and censor free speech in India. Asking someone to prevent closing of a metro station does NOT constitute hate speech. It is in fact, protecting law and order.

  3. Zuckerberg uses Kapil Mishra’s ‘Delhi riots threat’ to outline Facebook’s hate speech policy. No mention of provocations, incitement ,hate speeches from other section. Why Zuckerberg didn’t take note of hate speeches of the other section?
    Isn’t he acting under the influence of lobby and appeasers that he failed to mention hate speeches from the other section.?

  4. Any news in “The print” on tahir Hussain, who was preparing for this communal riot since January……

  5. I don’t understand where’s the provocative speech by Kapil Mishra referred to by Mr. ZUCKERBERG? Why all the reports are one way and against one community ie of Hindus? Why don’t see statement of Sonia Gaddafi and muslim leaders belonging to Congress and AAP parties? This is unfair and unfortunate Mr. Shekhar Gupta
    . Why you people are doing this to Hindus who are most tolerant community in the world?
    Are you bribed for your one way reporting Mr. Gupta? You are elderly and senior journalist of the yore. Pl don’t do it and not good for your age ,occupation and experience. Thanq Shekhar Gupta.

  6. Zuckerberg is a politically motivated, economically driven individual with low ethical values. He stole the very idea of Facebook from his own class mate and friend, ditched him… even now, he has failed to side with the American people against Trump.
    We in India should start leaving FB… unfortunately, no Indian software”giant” has shown capability to build a product…

  7. So why where the protestors blocking the roads and creating inconvenience for ordinary people?? If the police cannot enforce clear, obstruction free streets, then we’ll look upto somebody who can do that job for us. Does not matter what Zuckerberg thinks about that.

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