A massive political storm erupted in India after an America based media house named Wall Street Journal published an article claiming social media giant Facebook refused to apply hate speech rules to certain BJP politicians.
Wall Street Journal reportedly interviewed several Facebook insiders who revealed that ‘senior India policy executives’ had allegedly intervened in internal communication to ensure a Telangana BJP MLA was not banned over his social media posts.
The Congress used this as an opportunity to target the Centre and quipped that ”Facebook’s inaction against hate content destabilized Indian democracy”
This controversy comes at a time when Facebook has been accused of being biased towards Donald Trump, who according to Democrats, has posted hateful content on his FB page. The company has reacted to the controversy and has issued a statement.
We prohibit hate speech and content that incites violence and we enforce these policies globally without regard to anyone’s political position or party affiliation. While we know there is more to do, we’re making progress on enforcement and conduct regular audits of our process to ensure fairness and accuracyFacebook
While Congress cries foul over the article, BJP hit back and reminded Congress of the Cambridge Analytica row wherein a UK-based firm allegedly offered Congress data mining of Facebook posts to influence voters ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
BJP leader and Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri slammed the Congress and asked Rahul Gandhi to look at his party’s history before speaking on democratic values as it has been “a death chamber of dissent, right to expression and internal democracy”.
He wants to sermonise?— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) August 17, 2020
Before that he should look at the record of the government led by his party during the Emergency years of 1975-77 when every democratic institution was declared defunct & one leader’s voice was regarded as law.
FB official files police complaint
Meanwhile, Senior Facebook India executive Ankhi Das has filed a complaint with Delhi Police, alleging that she has been receiving “violent threats to her life”. Das, who is Facebook’s Director, Public Policy, India, South and Central Asia, alleged that several people were issuing “threats, making sexually coloured remarks and defaming her” through online posts.
The Delhi Police has now registered a case based on a complaint and is investigating the matter.
Delhi Assembly panel to summon Facebook officials
Meanwhile, Delhi Assembly panel on peace and harmony is expected to summon Facebook officials to probe Delhi riots.
In view thereof it compels the committee to take immediate notice and get to the root of this issue with a view to painstakingly discern if there is any role or complicity of Facebook official in the orchestration of Delhi riots. Summons are set to be sent for appearance of the officials concerned of Facebook and more importantly, Ankhi Das, in due course to ensure their presence before the committee for participating in the relevant proceedings and the committee shall convene its meeting this week to initiate the proceedings forthwithDelhi Assembly Committee