Facebook’s Omission of Hindu Nationalist Terror Groups in ‘Dangerous’ List Is Serious

A secret blacklist of individuals and groups used to regulate speech across Facebook’s platforms, instituted by the company in 2012 in the face of growing public concerns over terrorists being recruited through the site – was recently published in its entirety by The Intercept, on October 12, 2021.

The 100-page Dangerous Individuals and Organisations (DIO) list contains more than 4000 people and groups, both categorised into Terror, Crime, and Hate, with two additional categories for groups, i.e., Violent Non-State Actor and Militarised Social Movement. Supposedly, no one on the DIO list is allowed to maintain a presence on Facebook platforms, nor are individuals allowed to represent themselves as members of the listed groups.

Having operated over the years with deliberate obfuscation of its processes and motivations, including ignoring its Oversight Board’s recommendations to make this list public, Facebook’s content moderation – and the DIO policy specifically – has been criticised as an unaccountable system disproportionately punishing certain communities.

The leaked list’s demographic composition reveals the ways in which Facebook principally echoes American values and conceptions of danger. The disproportionate focus to groups in the Middle East and South Asia as compared with white nationalist groups in the DIO list has been described as reflecting American anxieties, political concerns, and foreign

— source thewire.in | Shambhavi Madan | 16/Oct/2021

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India slips 7 spots to rank 101 among 116 countries on Global Hunger Index

India has slipped seven places to rank 101 among 116 countries in the Global Hunger Index. It ranked fourth among South Asian countries, according to the Index that was released October 14, 2021.

Only 15 other countries ranked below India on the Index. These include:

  • Afghanistan (103)
  • Nigeria (103)
  • Congo (105)
  • Mozambique (106)
  • Sierra Leone (106)
  • Liberia (110)
  • Madagascar (111)
  • Democratic Republic of Congo (112)
  • Chad (113)
  • Central African Republic (114)
  • Somalia (116)

Bangladesh (76), Nepal (76) and Pakistan (92) have fared much better than India on the index.

In 2020, India ranked at 94 among 107 countries on the Index that is released by Concern Worldwide, an Irish aid agency and Welt Hunger Hilfe, a German organisation.

— source downtoearth.org.in | Kiran Pandey | 15 Oct 2021

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Union minister’s son hit the protesters with his cars, 8 people died

Until Sunday morning, Banbirpur under Tikonia police station, a small village which falls under Lakhimpur Kheri district headquarter and very close to the India-Nepal border, was peaceful. But, in the afternoon, the village witnessed a bloodbath where at least eight people, including four farmers and a journalist were killed and over 13 others were severely injured after a convoy of three SUVs, including one owned by Union Minister of State for Home and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Ajay Mishra Teni, hit a group of farm protesters. The incident allegedly took place as the farmers were dispersing from the protest site when all of sudden, three cars in the convoy of Mishra ran over the famers, alleged Gurmeet Singh Virk, a farmer who was leading the protest. An eyewitness, Paurndeep Singh, alleged that minister’s son Ashish tried to flee after his vehicle was overturned. He shot dead one farmer who tried to catch him after he fell on the ground and tried to escape from the spot. He continuously fired multiple rounds in the air to keep farmers away and police rescued him, he alleged.

— source newsclick.in | 05 Oct 2021

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What the Facebook Whistleblower Complaint Touches Upon

Internal company documents citing “fear-mongering” content promoted by “Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) users, groups and pages” form a part of a complaint filed by by former employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In a complaint on how the social media platform “promotes global division and ethnic violence”, lawyers for Haugen cite internal company documents to claim that “political sensitivities” prevented Facebook from categorising or providing a designation to “this group”, in what appears to be a reference to whether greater monitoring was required for RSS-connected content.

Haugen, a data scientist who worked at Facebook until May 2021, has thrown the social media company into its biggest reputational crisis since Cambridge Analytica and will testify before US senators in Washington on Tuesday.

— source thewire.in | Anuj Srivas | 05/Oct/2021

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Anatomy of the Pegasus spyware in India

The story so far

In a series of startling revelations by The Wire, Pegasus, the Israeli spyware was found to have been used to potentially target hundreds of cell phone devices in India.

The leaked database was found by Forbidden Stories, a Paris based organization and Amnesty International, and it was shared with several news agencies across the world including The Wire. The database contains a list of thousands of potential targets of Pegasus from around the world. The Security Lab at Amnesty International provided the forensic analysis and technical support for the project.

The consortium has confirmed that there were clear signs of targeting by Pegasus in 10 Indian numbers and on 27 additional phones around the world. It must be noted that the consortium has not claimed or asserted that all the numbers in the leaked database have had infiltration attempts or were spied upon using the Pegasus software.

This is not the first time that Pegasus has been linked with the attack on journalists and human rights activists in India. The issue had cropped up once before in 2019 as well. On May 17, 2019, CERT.in issued a Vulnerability Note about a “Buffer Overflow Vulnerability in WhatsApp.” The note said that an attacker could exploit the said vulnerability to

— source sflc.in | 22 Jul 2021

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Modi government succeeded in damaging the Jallianwala Bagh

A nine-member team of the Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Committee, Jalandhar, set up to preserve the legacy of the Ghadar movement, visited the newly renovated Jallianwala Bagh to see the changes for themselves. The members registered their indignation and resentment over the work done at Jallianwala Bagh and demanded its restoration to its original form. They demanded that in the light of the havoc played with the spirit and history of Jallianwala Bagh, a committee of prominent historians should be constituted to set right the wrongs committed. Public bodies like the Desh Bhagat Yadgaar Committee should be involved in the deliberations, they added.

They lamented that the beautification of Jallianwala Bagh undertaken by the government has divested it of its historical heritage and reduced the memorial to a place of recreation. Talking about the changes done at Jallianwala Bagh, the members said that murals displayed on the walls of its entrance reminds one of a festival and not of a place where more than 1,000 Indians were massacred by the British Army, when they were raising their voice against the Rowlatt Act.

Similarly, the well in which 200 persons lost their lives does not now evoke a sense of anger against the Raj, as it has been concealed behind a glass wall through which almost nothing is visible in daylight. Even the place from where the Army fired upon people has been wiped out and only a nondescript floor tile has been laid there. Earlier, this place

— source thewire.in | 10/Sep/2021

[this clearly shows the commitment of sangh towards british, even after 100 years]

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Modi Govt’s Renovation of Jallianwala Bagh Draws Sharp Criticism

The Centre’s renovation work on the historic Jallianwala Bagh site has sparked a massive controversy with historians and opposition politicians criticising it as an “insult” to the martyrs and a bid at erasing history and heritage.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the renovated Jallianwala Bagh complex in Amritsar on August 28. The monument was the nation’s homage to the victims of the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre wherein over thousand unarmed people were killed by British troops.

The British troops led by Col. Reginald Dyer opened fire at a large gathering of people who had assembled to protest against the arrest of freedom fighters Satya Pal and Saifuddin Kitchlu for opposing the Rowlatt Act.

— source newsclick.in | 31 Aug 2021

[this clearly shows the commitment of sangh towards british, even after 100 years. fascists are afraid of history.]

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Visva-Bharati University Students Protest against Rustication of Peers, Accuse VC of ‘Saffronising’ Campus

Student protest against the authorities at Visva-Bharati University (VBU) in West Bengal is mounting and has reached a tipping point just couple of days after the university decided to rusticate three students. The VBU authorities have decided to rusticate three masters’ degree students, who are also part of the student organisation VB Student’s Unity (VBSU), for three years for alleged indiscipline and misconduct. Besides, two professors, who had in February lodged a police complaint against the authorities for allegedly detaining them at the office, have been suspended. While students have been protesting since last week against the rustication of the three students, on Monday, about hundred of individuals were allegedly called to the campus by the Vice-Chancellor to break up the student dharna, the protesters said.

— source newsclick.in | 31 Aug 2021

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Farmers’ Leader Rakesh Tikait Says Asaduddin Owaisi Is BJP’s ‘Chacha Jaan’

Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait has said that All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi is the Bharatiya Janata Party’s “chacha jaan”, adding that the two parties were in fact on the same team.

“Owaisi and BJP are a team. He is BJP’s ‘chacha jaan‘. He has the blessings of the BJP. He will abuse them, but they will not file a case against him. BJP will take his help. Farmers will have to understand their moves. Owaisi is double-faced. He will ruin the farmers. They will hatch conspiracies during elections. But as suggested by Zila Panchayat elections, people in Baghpat are revolutionary,” Tikait said, according to NDTV.

Last week, Owaisi kickstarted the AIMIM’s election campaign in Uttar Pradesh. The party has declared that it will contest 100 seats in the upcoming assembly polls in 2022. Though it had all alliance with the BSP in Bihar, Mayawati has said there will be no similar alliance in UP.

— source thewire.in | 15/Sep/2021

[just after this comment, hindutva forces attacked Owaisi’s house to show they are not unite!]

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Over half of farm households still under debt

More than half of India’s agricultural households were in debt, with an average outstanding of Rs 74,121, according to the latest ‘Situation Assessment of Agricultural Households and Land Holdings of Households in Rural India, 2019’ released September 10, 2021. The percentage of households in debt, however, reduced slightly from 51.9 per cent as seen in the previou survey in 2013; but the average debt jumped 57 per cent from Rs 47,000 in 2013. The National Statistical Office (NSO) reported the data based on its 77th round of survey of more than 45,000 such households conducted January 1-December 31, 2019. The data represents the situation before the onset of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in early 2020.

— source downtoearth.org.in | 11 Sep 2021

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