A huge controversy came to surface after a report from US media published about Facebook to be colluded with BJP as the senior executive denied to apply hate speech rules against the certain BJP leader.
The particular claim has raised questions about the link and seeking answers from executive of Facebook, Ankhi Das.
Wall Street Journal published the report claiming that Facebook’s public policy director for India, South and Central Asia, told employees that initiating punitive action against BJP politicians indulging in hate propaganda would hurt the company’s “business prospects” in India.
Opposition in India is demanding a free and fair probe in this matter.
- Notably, on Friday, the Wall Street Journal claimed that Facebook is being biased in India as it ignored its own hate speech policy after an anti-Muslim post uploaded on Facebook. According to the report, Facebook didn’t want to ruin it’s relation with the ruling party in India.
- The reports contain the example of BJP Telangana MP T Raja Singh and his statement about Rohingya Muslim immigrants. According to it, Ankhi Das refused to take any steps against the member of the ruling party. Raja Singh although said that his account was hacked when this particular post was uploaded.
- Rahul Gandhi on this matter said, “BJP & RSS control Facebook & WhatsApp in India. They spread fake news and hatred through it and use it to influence the electorate. Finally, the American media has come out with the truth about Facebook,” Gandhi said.
- 4. While Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad made a harsh counter-attack against Rahul Gandhi’s statement and said, “Losers who cannot influence people even in their own party keep cribbing that the entire world is controlled by BJP and RSS. You were caught red-handed in alliance with Cambridge Analytica and Facebook to weaponise data before the elections and now have the gall to question us,”
- He further added, “The fact is that today access to information and freedom of expression has been democratized. It is no longer controlled by retainers of your family and that is why it hurts. Btw, haven’t yet heard your condemnation of the Bangalore riots. Where did your courage disappear?”
Congress wants this whole matter to be investigated this they demanded a fair probe by ‘Joint Parliamentary Committee’.
6. After the controversy heated, a spokesperson from Facebook issued a statement “We prohibit hate speech and content that incites violence and we enforce these policies globally regardless of 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 accuracy,”
7. Congress leader Shashi Tharoor also posted about the same. He wrote,”The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology would certainly wish to hear from Facebook about these reports and what they propose to do about hate-speech in India,”
8. Furthermore, the NDA members of the 31 member IT Committee have asked for the removal of Chairperson Shashi Tharoor saying he violated the rules and pushed Congress agenda in the panel. “The standing committee rules say that the agenda has to be decided in consultation with the members of the committee and notified through a set procedure. Since that hasn’t been done it’s a clear violation of rules”, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey told India Today TV.
Parliament’s monsoon session is likely to be called in September and Congress is expected to address the same issue there. Thus Parliamentary session is expected to have a faceoff between Congess and BJP regarding various issues.