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19 Jul 2022

Press Trust of India, Outlook (India)

Meta Platforms In India Found Exposed To Human Rights Risks Due To 3rd Party Action

Meta platforms, which include Facebook and Whatsapp, were found exposed to human right risks such as "restrictions of freedom of expression and information" and "hatred that incites hostility" due to action of third parties, the first human rights report of the social media giant has said.

The report is based on an independent human rights impact assessment (HRIA) commissioned in 2019 by Meta on potential human rights risks in India and other countries related to its platforms.

The project was undertaken by Foley Hoag LLP.

"The HRIA noted the potential for Meta’s platforms to be connected to salient human rights risks caused by third parties, including: restrictions of freedom of expression and information; third party advocacy of hatred that incites hostility, discrimination, or violence; rights to non-discrimination; as well as violations of rights to privacy and security of person," the report said.

The HRIA involved interviews with 40 civil society stakeholders, academics, and journalists. The report found that Meta faced criticism and potential reputational risks related to risks of hateful or discriminatory speech by end users.

The assessment also noted a difference between company and external stakeholder understandings of content policies.


The HRIA developed recommendations for Meta around implementation and oversight, content moderation, product interventions etc which Meta is studying and will consider them as a baseline to identify and guide related actions, the report said.