Following the sensational US media report on Facebook ignoring rules when it comes to hate speeches by BJP politicians, Congress has written a letter to Facebook levelling a series of serious allegations.
In the letter written to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Congress has accused Facebook India of interfering with the country’s electoral democracy. Congress has already demanded a time-bound high-level inquiry into the conduct of the Facebook India leadership team and its operations.
The report on Facebook bypassing rules for BJP leaders was published in the Wall Street Journal. The report has resulted in a political slugfest between the BJP and the Congress.
What does the letter provide?
In the letter, Congress general secretary KC Venugopal demanded that pending the internal investigation and submission of the report, the company should “consider a new team to lead Facebook India operations so as to not influence the probe”.
“Set up a high-level inquiry by Facebook headquarters into the Facebook India leadership team and their operations. And, submit a report to the Board of Facebook within one or two months. The report should also be made public,” Venugopal said in the letter.
Facebook “May be a willing participant in thwarting the rights and values that the founding leaders of the Congress sacrificed their lives for”, Venugopal said. As a result, he asked the US firm to publish all instances of “hate speech posts since 2014 that were allowed on the platform”.
He said Congress has repeatedly raised the issue of “bias” with many Facebook and WhatsApp executives.
The Congress and other opposition parties have attacked the social media giant. Facebook faced criticism after a US media report alleged that it did not apply its hate speech rules on BJP leaders.
Facebook has refuted allegations
In its response, Facebook on Monday refuted the allegations. It said it prohibits hate speech and content that incites violence. Facebook added that 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”.
Indians need to question, says Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said that Indians need to raise their voice against fake news and hate speech. Also, he posted the letter written by Congress to Facebook CEO.
He tweeted: “We cannot allow any manipulation of our hard-earned democracy through bias, fake news & hate speech. As exposed by @WSJ, Facebook’s involvement in peddling fake and hate news needs to be questioned by all Indians.”
We cannot allow any manipulation of our hard-earned democracy through bias, fake news & hate speech.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 18, 2020
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