Hindu nationalist groups abusing YouTube to target Muslims, women: Report

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A report by New York University’s Stern Center for Business and Human Rights said the “targeting of Muslims” by supporters of the BJP and other right-wing Hindu nationalist groups is the “most disturbing abuse of YouTube” in the country.

symbolic picture. (Photo: Reuters)

New Delhi: A report by New York University’s (NYU) Stern Center for Business and Human Rights states that social media has intensified religious intolerance in India.

Reportedly, it has highlighted the targeting of Muslims by supporters of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other right-wing Hindu nationalist groups, and portrays it as one of the most disturbing abuses of YouTube in the country.

The report, titled ‘A Platform ‘Weaponized’: How YouTube Spreads Harmful Content – And What Can Be Done About It’, outlines YouTube’s role in spreading political propaganda, public health myths and promoting violence.

Although it focuses largely on US developments, it also talks about India, Brazil and Myanmar.

Organized anti-women in South Korea, right-wing ideologues in Brazil, anti-Muslim Hindu nationalists, and supporters of Myanmar’s repressive military regime have taken advantage of YouTube’s extraordinary reach to spread harmful messages and unite like-minded users, the report says. Is raised.’

The NYU Center for Business and Human Rights has been publishing reports on the effects of social media on democracy. It started after Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential campaign through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The report in the India section flags the ‘conspiracy theories’ that were spread at the start of the coronavirus pandemic that Muslims deliberately spread the virus as ‘Jihad’. Muslim shopkeepers were targeted and many channels flourished on Islamophobic content that degraded Muslims and incited violence against them.

“Religious intolerance existed long before the advent of YouTube in India, but the widespread use of social media has fueled the rancor,” the report says.

India is the biggest market for YouTube. The report also noted that ‘online attacks that threaten women are often mixed with anti-Muslim themes in India’.

It said that hate speeches against women have been popularized on the platform by nationalist Indian YouTube influencers. It talks about popular YouTube celebrities who made physical threats to women.

Citing Sully Deals and Bully Buy apps, the report said, “When YouTube deleted some of the women’s hateful YouTube accounts, they created new ones. Photos of Muslim women collected from public sources were put on sale for the sale of those women, sometimes there were derogatory remarks and sometimes there was talk of rape.

Prateek Waghre, a researcher at the Taxila Institution, told the report’s authors that YouTube finds it difficult to monitor and crack down on accounts that spread such deadly messages.

The report also noted that the central government’s new IT regulations, which empower it to remove content from social media platforms, complicate these challenges.

Researchers say less is known about YouTube than Facebook or Twitter, mostly because it is difficult and expensive to analyze videos compared to searching for words or phrases in text data from Facebook or Twitter posts.

He also says that the company itself makes it almost unverifiable.

Click here to read this report in English.

Categories: world, india, society

Tagged as: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), BJP, Bulli Bai App, Covid-19 Pandemic, Hatred Against Muslims, Hindu Right Wing Groups, India, Muslim Women, Muslims, News, NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, Religious Intolerance , Sulli Deals, The Wire Hindi, You tube

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