Facebook controversy: Congress takes battle to US, asks Zukerberg to take action

Though Facebook has so far denied having any ties with BJP, pressure is mounting against the social media giant in country. On Monday Congress reiterated its demand for a JPC probe into the matter

KC Venugopal
KC Venugopal
user

NH Political Bureau

Upping the ante against the alleged collusion between Facebook and BJP, the Congress party on Tuesday shot off a letter to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zukerberg and asked him to initiate a time-bound inquiry against the company’s India leadership.

On behalf of the party, AICC general secretary KC Venugopal addressed Zukerberg and put forth a three-point suggestions-cum-demands:

  • Congress repeatedly raised issue of bias with many Facebook executives. Would suggest setting up a high-level inquiry into Facebook India leadership team and submitting report to Facebook Inc. within a reasonable period of time.
  • Publish and make transparent all instances of hate speech posts since 2014 that were allowed on the platform. The WSJ article mentions hate speech of three other politicians that were wilfully permitted by Facebook. On a closer perusal, you will find thousands of such insidious posts.
  • Until the completion of the internal investigation and submission of the report; please consider letting the Facebook India operations to be led by a new team so as not to influence the investigation.

Referring to the report published in the Wall Street Journal, Venugopal said in his letter, “We are sure you would have read the front page story in the WSJ on August 14, 2020 about Facebook India’s blatant biases and dubious practices in content regulation...This is a damning and serious allegation of Facebook India’s interference in India’s electoral democracy”.

Though Facebook has so far denied having any ties with BJP, pressure is mounting against the social media giant in the country. On Monday Congress reiterated its demand for a JPC probe into the matter.

Meanwhile, Ankhi Das, a senior Facebook executive in India, has filed a police complaint in Delhi, alleging that she has been receiving “threats to her life” following publication of the report.

The WSJ, in a sensational revelation, had claimed that Facebook has turned a blind eye to anti-Muslim posts and hate speeches made by the BJP leaders.

Pointing out to hate-speech – calling for violence against minorities – by Telangana BJP MLA T Raja Singh, the WJS report cited “current and former” Facebook employees as saying that Das’s intervention is part of a “broader pattern of favouritism” by the company towards the ruling party.

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Published: 18 Aug 2020, 2:59 PM
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