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Ever heard of American computer engineer Frances Haugen? The 37-year-old has been in the American media for a few days now. Frances, who was working as a product manager at Facebook for two years, resigned last May in protest against some of the company's stances. For Frances, who previously worked for companies such as Google and Pinterest, this was not just a resignation; there were definite political reasons behind the resignation. Over the months, she has revealed what that was. Last week in The Wall Street Journal, they described in detail how the new social media giant Facebook, under the guise of artificial intelligence and algorithms, is destroying our democratic world order; once she submitted documents to back her allegations, Facebook turned defensive. In an hour-long interview with CBS, she explained how Facebook and its own mobile applications, such as WhatsApp and Instagram, have become the number one tool for extremists and racists. The other day, the whistleblower repeated the allegations in front of the US Senate subcommittee. The gist of Frances' allegations is that Facebook has become a global advocate of hatred, bigotry and Islamophobia by deliberately spreading false information. They also point out the 'great service' that Facebook is doing to Sangh Parivar in India.
There doesn't seem to be anything new in the revelations. These are allegations that have emerged from different corners of the world about Zuckerberg's company over the last several years. The only thing that makes the current situation different is that someone who was part of the organization has come out now. Frances was part of the Civic Integrity Team which censors misinformation that is constantly flowing through the platforms of Facebook and affiliate applications. It was after bringing the team's activities to a complete standstill that Facebook created a flood of fake news to give Trump a second term. For some reason, it failed. This was the same plan that Facebook used to secure Trump's victory with Cambridge Analytics in the last election. Facebook also succeeded in bringing the far-right to power in Britain and Brazil. Across the world, Facebook is showing a special interest in bringing the perpetrators of racism to power. In India, they continue to be companions of the Sangh Parivar for the same reason, reiterates Frances. She openly revealed that Facebook is keeping silent despite being aware of the anti-Muslim propaganda being carried out by Hindutva forces in the country. The experience of Indians testifies to this. Without removing the posts of Kapil Mishra and others who called for the genocide of Muslims in northeast Delhi, Facebook aided and at times aggravated Hindutva aggression in several instances.
The relevance of the new social media is that it is an alternative medium capable of exposing the shortcomings of the mainstream media and remains a corrective force. Such a system is essential in the new age of information revolution to strengthen our democracy and make social discourse more transparent. But what if the destructive forces buy into the system itself? That is what is happening in India now. The content and algorithm of Facebook have come completely under the control of Sangh Parivar; of course, there are also financial interests behind this. But beyond that, it must be remembered that this 'alliance' is enough to destroy a country. Hindutva activists have adopted hate propaganda and fake news as a distinct political weapon. They have plotted and succeeded in many riots and racist attacks doing this. What will be left in the country if a popular media outlet like Facebook also joins hands with this karseva? That is the question that Frances through her revelations poses before the people of India.