Report: Meta reportedly monetising on ads calling for the killing of Muslims as well as opposition leader

A recent report by ICWI (Indian Civil Watchlist) and Ekō has revealed that Meta has been platforming hate content generated by AI on its platforms, despite promising to be vigilant before India’s Lok Sabha elections.

Meta has reportedly approved ads calling for the killing of Muslims. This was disclosed in an exclusive coverage by The Guardian of a report by ICWI (Indian Civil Watchlist) and Ekō  that recently revealed Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, has come under the limelight for approving a series of AI generated political advertisements during India’s ongoing Lok Sabha elections. These ads reportedly spread disinformation and also heightened communal tensions that were ‘violent’ and ‘Islamophobic’ in nature, according to the report.

Some of the examples of the hate speech contained in the posts, which are stored in Meta’s Ad Library, include phrases such as “let’s burn this vermin” and “Hindu blood is spilling, these invaders must be burned, as per The Guardian report. The report also reveals that Meta approved posts about executing an opposition leader. 

The report points out that this is also a failure by Meta to comply with the laws related to elections in India, and the ‘silence’ period deployed by the Model Code of Conduct was also violated. 

The report may be read here:


Several of these ads reportedly targeted opposition parties (to the BJP) by alleging Muslim “favouritism,” and other conspiracy theories promoted by India’s far-right that declares Congress as a party only for Muslims. Other ads on the site also reportedly portrayed the bogey of a Muslim invasion

Two advertisements even argued for a “stop the steal” narrative, and alleged the destruction of electronic voting machines. Multiple ads have used Hindu supremacist language to demonise Muslims. 

Meta is, it reveals, monetising from ads related to killings of Muslims, and these ads also violate Meta’s own policy on hate speech and other offences. Meta states on its website that it does not “allow” Hate Speech on its platforms, Facebook and Instagram. 

The researchers discovered that between May 8 and May 13, the platform approved 14 such incendiary ads. These incidents come even after, as the report notes, Meta had stated that they would be more vigilant about violent AI content prior to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The report further highlights that this “underscores that the platform is ill-equipped to deal with AI-generated disinformation.”

ICWI, Ekō and Foundation the London Story (TLS) had earlier released an expansive report, titled ‘Slander, Lies, and Incitement: India’s million dollar election meme network’, prior to the Lok Sabha 2024 elections. It states that before the elections, Indian advertisers spent a total of ₹407,709,451 (over 4 million US dollars) on “Issues, elections or politics” for ads on Meta platforms. Identifying the buyers from the GST, the report notes that 100 top buyers bought 75 % of the total ads. Out of these 100, there were 22 ‘shadow pages’ linked to the BJP who spent about ₹88 million, buying these ads for the party or its leaders. The same report highlighted that hate-spreading posts were able to boost their reach by simply paying 10 dollars and in consequence, reaching thousands of people. 


This is not the first time Meta has come under scrutiny. In February 2024, the CEO’s of major tech companies faced the US Senate Judiciary Committee. Mark Zuckerberg from Meta, along with leaders from TikTok, X, Discord, and Snap, were grilled by senators about how social media affects the safety of kids and teens in the US. The tech companies were accused of not doing enough to protect young users from online dangers.

Google has also not been spared. In a report by Access Now and Global Witness, it was discovered that YouTube, which is owned by Google, permitted incendiary, violent content to be hosted by the platform right before the elections. In the experimental study by Access Now and Global Witness, it was revealed that ads containing false news, such as 2024 elections being cancelled, passed through the platform’s gaze and were published. 


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