A former employee of social media company Facebook has said that the violence in Sri Lanka in 2018 could have been averted if Facebook acted in a more proactive and prompt manner, the Hindustan Times has reported.
The employee identified as Mark S. Luckie has told the Delhi Assembly’s peace and harmony committee there were instances of the company’s top officials intervening to bend content policing rules. Luckie had worked as a manager with Facebook’s Global Influencers department between October 2017 and November 2018.
“Mr Luckie affirmed that there have been repeated interferences by top officials of Facebook teams, including their policy heads at the instance of the political parties upon the content moderation teams which has caused eventual compromise in the execution of their own community standards… Thus, in turn contributes in disruption of peace and harmony in the society. He also asserted that there would be more peace and a harmonious situation if the Facebook was allowing its content moderators to work freely and true to the guidelines,” said the committee’s chairperson Raghav Chadha in a statement after the deposition.
The committee is looking at the possible role Facebook played in fanning the communal violence in north-east Delhi in February that claimed 53 lives. The committee’s scrutiny came following a string of reports from news outlets that accused Facebook executives of bending rules on hate speech and unlawful content in order to protect business and political interests.