Not more than a week ago, Facebook India Executive Ankhi Das opposed all the allegations of enforcement of hate-speech rules against BJP, She is now again accused of Supporting BJP during the 2014 general elections.
“We lit a fire to his social media campaign and the rest is of course history, ”She wrote on a group which was made for Facebook employees in the country.
Wall Street Journal reported these along with some others posts between 2012-2014. It suggests that the posted messages don’t suit the company’s policy of being neutral during elections.
In an article, published on August 30, WSJ pointed to Das’s posts written for internal consumption each time the BJP, particularly Modi, benefitted electorally. In October of 2012, Das wrote, “Success in our Gujarat Campaign,” of the training of Modi’s BJP team, further noting that the campaign was close to reaching a million fans on Facebook.
Her Facebook colleague, Katie Harbath – a Republican and Facebook’s top global elections official – wrote that Das characterised Modi as “the George W. Bush of India,” according to a 2013 internal post featuring a photo of the two women and the future prime minister.
She wrote on the group. “It’s taken thirty years of grassroots work to rid India of state socialism finally,” read another post by her.
On 15th August, When Wall Street Journal reported that Ankhi Das, Facebook’s public policy director for India, South and Central Asia, didn’t take any action against leaders associated with the BJP and other Hindutva groups.
“Raja Singh had said Rohingya Muslim immigrants should be shot, called Muslim traitors and threatened to raze mosques. By March of this year, they concluded Mr Singh not only had violated the company’s hate-speech rules but qualified as dangerous, a designation that takes into account a person’s off-platform activities,” the publication reported on BJP MLA in Telangana Raja Singh.
However, Facebook in its response denied all the claims regarding Ankhi Das “These posts are taken out of context and don’t represent the full scope of Facebook’s efforts to support the use of our platform by parties across the Indian political spectrum,” spokesman Andy Stone told The Wall Street Journal.
Sanjay Jha, a former Congress spokesperson, tweeted, “This is a damning expose of Ankhi Das. You are entitled to your ideological preferences, but Facebook stands damaged for allowing her to subvert corporate policy. Worse, she allowed hate-speeches. #MarkZuckerberg owes India an explanation, not just the Congress. Game up!”
The report further added: “When a fellow staffer noted in response to one of her internal posts that the BJP’s primary opponent, the Indian National Congress, had a larger following on Facebook than Mr Modi’s individual page, Ms Das responded: ‘Don’t diminish him by comparing him with INC. Ah well – let my bias not show!!!’”
Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra responded on this matter with a tweet, “FB is supposed to provide the court —NOT pick up a ball & start playing.
BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya launched a counter-attack, saysThe Wall Street Journal missed Ankhi Das’ statements supporting the AAP and Trinamool Congress.
However, after that Controversy, Ankhi Das apologized to her colleagues for calling India Muslims a ’degenerated community’ in a Facebook post shared by her.