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Facebook deletes Jamia shooter Rambhakt Gopal’s account | India News


BENGALURU: Alarmed at the popularity and convergence of anti-social elements on Jamia shooter Rambhakt Gopal’s Facebook timeline, the social media giant on Thursday deleted his account at 5.30pm. “There is no place on Facebook for those who commit this kind of violence. We have removed the gunman’s Facebook account,” said a Facebook company spokesperson.

Facebook also said it would take action on FB users, who had praised and encouraged Rambhakt Gopal. “We are removing any content that praises, supports or represents the gunman or the shooting as soon as we identify it,” added the Facebook spokesperson.

Facebook, however, is yet to respond to TOI on whether it has preserved information on Rambhakt Gopal’s account for use of law enforcement. Facebook also did not respond to whether it has received any request from Delhi police to handover material evidence with regard to the shooting.

Rambhakt Gopal’s Facebook timeline had become a rallying point for right-wing activists, who were posting many congratulatory messages to him on his four Facebook live videos.

Despite concerned citizens and net users repeatedly tagging Facebook on allowing such hateful content, Facebook allowed the videos to remain and did not disable comments for nearly three hours. Comments on Gopal’s timeline ranged from “We proud on you…….#Great_Job_Jai_Shree_Ram” to “Jai shree ram Deke rhenge azaadi.”

Even before shooting his 2pm video, many Facebook users were exhorting and encouraging him. Comments like “Great boy and “Full support” can be found on his timeline.

By 5pm his last Facebook live video – taken just before he opened fire – had attracted 2,600 comments, 763 shares and 65,000 views. Surprisingly, Rambhakt Gopal seems to have a wide following on the social media platform — with his friends list alone numbering 3,623. Just before his FB live videos, Rambhakt Gopal had posted “Shaheen part….Game over.”

Facebook in its community standards for hate speech has posted, “We do not allow hate speech on Facebook because it creates an environment of intimidation and exclusion and in some cases may promote real-world violence.” Facebook also defined hate speech as “a direct attack on people based on — race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation….We define attack as violent or dehumanizing speech, statements of inferiority, or calls for exclusion or segregation.”

Times of India