The Congress party has written to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg demanding an enquiry into alleged bias by Facebook India's leadership in favour of the ruling BJP.
AICC General Secretary KC Venugopal also demanded to remove the current leadership of Facebook’s India leadership from the helm until the proposed investigation is completed.
The letter from the Congress came after a Wall Street Journal report that said Facebook ignored applying its hate speech rules to politicians of the ruling party in India.
In the report published on Friday, the US newspaper cited interviews with unnamed Facebook insiders to claim that one of its senior India policy executives intervened in internal communication to stop a permanent ban on a BJP MLA from Telangana after he allegedly made communally charged posts.
The report claimed that Ankhi Das, Facebook’s public policy director for India, South and Central Asia, allegedly told employees that initiating punitive action against BJP politicians indulging in hate propaganda would hurt the company’s “business prospects” in India.
In its reaction, Facebook said the company's social media platform prohibits hate speech and content that incites violence, adding these policies are enforced globally without regard to political affiliation. However, Facebook, which counts India among its largest markets globally, acknowledged that "there is more to do".
The Congress has in the letter, demanded that Facebook transparently publish all instances of hate speech posts since 2014 that were allowed on the platform. It also claimed that the WSJ article only pointed towards three politicians and a thorough study would bring to the forefront "thousands of such posts" made on the platform.
Venugopal also wrote to Mark Zuckerberg that since India is one of the biggest markets of Facebook and WhatsApp, there is high expectation that the company will take higher social and moral responsibility in its operations in the country.
-with agency inputs
First Published: IST