The All Assam Chutia Students’ Union in India questioned Facebook yesterday for for taking thousands of accounts in the Chutia community offline. The Union thinks that Facebook likely believes all the account deleted were spam or fake, because the word “chutia” in Hindi roughly translates to the English word “c***.” In response to Facebook’s actions against the sites, the student organization burnt Facebook effigies in five upper Assam districts of Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Sivasagar, Jorhat and Golaghat. Chutia is a small community in Assam, a northeastern state of India.
The official languages in the Chutia area are Assamese, Bengal, and Bodo. In India as a whole, the official languages are Hindi and English.
According to the Urban Dictionary, “chutia” is defined as:
Derived from the word chut (c***), it is a Hindi/Urdu slang word used to describe what we call a “douchebag” or also a complete moron.
All Assam Chutia Students’ Union general secretary Jyotiprasad Chutia stated,
“Facebook has blocked the accounts of all the subscribers belonging to the Chutia community of Assam thinking the names are false and fabricated. For Chutia being an abusive word in the Hindi language, Facebook authorities thought that the account holders are fake and fabricated. But, they are still unknown to the fact that Chutia is an ethnic tribe of Assam which has a rich historical background in the state history. We are very unhappy with authority as they have even failed to verify the matter seriously before taking a step like blocking thousands of our accounts. We think it may be a deep-rooted conspiracy against our community and so we warn them to abstain from such acts in the future. They even failed to verify the truth when they blocked the accounts of some prominent personalities and popular artists like Krishnamoni Chutia, who belongs to our community. We protested this negligence and demanded them to reactivate our accounts immediately.”
It is not clear how many accounts were taken off of Facebook, who has not commented on the matter. Social Media censorship has been an issue in India, which the government has denied.