Facebook takes down T. Raja Singh’s account

Singh, a repeat hate-offender, had made multiple statements against Muslims, particularly those from Kashmir and also allegedly from Bangladesh. 

Raja Singh

Facebook India has finally taken down the profile of Telangana BJP MLA T. Raja Singh. The move comes amidst severe criticism by civil society for Facebook’s failure to take action against Singh’s hateful posts that not only spewed venom, but also incited violence against minorities in blatant violation of Facebook’s own community standards.

A Facebook spokesperson told the Indian Express that the company banned Singh’s account for violating their policy and promoting engagement in violence and hate on their platform. The spokesperson said that the extensive process for evaluating potential violators led them to this decision. It is noteworthy that the account has been flagged numerous times by SabrangIndia’s partner human rights organisation Citizens of Justice and Peace for its toxic content.

The ban involves removal of pages, groups, and accounts set up to represent said individual and post such content. However, The Indian Express on Thursday noted that Singh denied any such recent ban and claimed that he has not had a Facebook account for over a year.

Despite repeated and extensive reports of his hateful activity by CJP and Sabrang, Singh insisted that he never posted any hateful comments on any social media platform. Instead, he suggested that his fans and followers may have created pages in his name. He told the newspaper that he was glad the company took down the page. Singh’s relieved statement seems at odds with his previous actions wherein he openly threatened Muslims in India.


In 2018, Singh had posted on his Facebook account explicitly asking his followers not to buy anything from the “terrorist Kashmiris” for the annual Amarnath Yatra. His name has also been mentioned in articles pertaining to the Delhi riots in February. Moreover, he had also commented against the ‘so-called’ Bangladeshi Muslims in India.

“What work do these Bangladeshis have in India? They are living in Assam with an intention to destroy India,” he had said. 

According to Singh, his account was taken down in October 2018 right before the Telangana elections. He made a new account which was allegedly taken down once again in April 2019 before the Lok Sabha elections. He claimed to have tweeted about these series of events as well. However, Facebook has not verified Singh’s version of the story.

Many Facebook pages under the MLA’s name have been taken down. However, some pages like the T. RAJA SINGH YUVA SENA and the Raja Singh Yuva Sena – RSYS are still active.

The removal of Singh’s account is a significant step towards addressing the problem of hate speech on virtual platforms. The Telangana MLA has multiple FIRs against him most of which pertain to hate speech. Yet, a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report said that Facebook India’s top public policy executive Ankhi Das protected Singh’s account from hate-speech policies. She claimed that punishing a member of the ruling party would damage the company’s business prospects with India – its biggest global market.

However, it has been no secret that Das as well as her colleague Shivnath Thukral had regular meetings with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) even prior to 2014 elections. This puts the intentions of the giant company in perspective.

In 2019, Equality Labs produced a report of the hate-speech prevalence on Facebook adding that 93 percent of hate-speech on Facebook goes unreported.

It is only after the attention given by US media like WSJ that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has started paying attention to these policy violations.

As per Facebook’s community standards, any person engaged in violence such as organised hate will be marked as a dangerous person and will not be allowed to have a presence on the platform. However, Facebook’s latest reputation management measures may be too little too late. Legislative bodies in Delhi have already started considering Facebook’s role in the Delhi riots. Former civil servants have written an open letter to the company CEO Mark Zuckerberg asking him to look into the implementation of Facebook’s hate-speech policy.

Meanwhile, Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday accused Zuckerberg of being biased against the BJP in response to the talks of Facebook’s close relation to the ruling party.

The good news is that following the WSJ report, many hate-speech posts in India have been taken down. Last week, many of Assam MLA Shiladitya Dev’s anti-Bangladeshi-Muslims posts were taken down from Facebook.

However, as pointed out by MediaNama founder Nikhil Pahwa, Facebook tends to favour and serve governments who can block the website. At times Facebook has taken down pages of both the BJP and the Congress party for violating policies. However nearly half of these policies are later restored. Thus, what needs to be seen now is whether Facebook’s current activities are permanent measures to address hate-speech or a gimmick to prove its morality.



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