Facebook Removes Racist Posts Targeting Kamala Harris
Social networking platform Facebook has taken down racist and misogynistic posts, memes and comments that targetted US Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris. Following her victory in the 2020 elections, a surge was observed in such comments. The now-removed posts were posted by alleged “hate spreading” groups and were spotted by the BBC group that subsequently flagged them to Facebook. The concerned posts reportedly claimed that Harris “isn’t black enough for Democrats” because of her Jamaican-Indian heritage. The posts also included claims like Harris was not a legal US citizen, while others suggested she should be deported “back to India”. Harris was born in California to an Indian mother and Jamaican father.
According to BBC News, Facebook, which also owns WhatsApp and Instagram, has removed such racist posts but is yet to disable the three main anti-Harris/hate groups (with 1,200 to 4,000 members). The social media giant, on the other hand, claims that it takes down 90% of hate speech before it is flagged. One media monitoring body described the pages as “dedicated to propagating racist and misogynistic smears”.
The road ahead will not be easy, but President-elect @JoeBiden and I are hitting the ground running. Because while the challenges facing America are great, the American people deserve no less.
We don’t have a moment to waste.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) November 17, 2020
Rules and Guidelines
“Facebook’s removal of this content only after it’s been flagged to them by the media confirms that the rules and guidelines they establish are hollow because they put little to no effort into detection and enforcement,” said Media Matters President Angelo Carusone.
“We are talking about the lowest of low-hanging fruit from a detection perspective. And yet, these escaped Facebook’s notice until flagged by a third party,” Carusone added. Some sexually graphic and misogynistic submissions were also removed by the social networking platform.
Harris is a US Senator for the state of California and a former state attorney general. She is the first woman of Indian-origin and the woman ever to be elected as US Vice President.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on late Tuesday night wished Kamala Harris on her election to the White House. “Her success is a matter of great pride and inspiration for members of the vibrant Indian-American community, who are a tremendous source of strength for Indo-US relations,” he wrote in a tweet.
I also conveyed warm congratulations for VP-elect @KamalaHarris. Her success is a matter of great pride and inspiration for members of the vibrant Indian-American community, who are a tremendous source of strength for Indo-US relations.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 17, 2020
Feature Image Credit: CNN