The ongoing controversy over the Facebook-BJP nexus on Wednesday got a fresh twist after the Trinamool Congress (TMC) wrote a strongly-worded letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. TMC too raised the issue of alleged bias of the social media giant towards BJP.
It claimed that there is enough evidence in the public domain to substantiate the allegations against the saffron party.
Derek O’Brien writes to Facebook CEO
TMC MP Derek O’Brien has written the letter to Zuckerberg. He also made a reference to an earlier meeting between the two, where some of these concerns were raised. TMC sources said that O’Brien had met Zuckerberg in October 2015 in Delhi.
“We, the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), India’s second-largest opposition party, have had serious concerns about Facebook’s role during the 2014 and 2019 general elections in India,” O’Brien wrote in the letter.
“With the elections in the Indian state of West Bengal just months away, your company’s recent blocking of Facebook pages and accounts in Bengal also points to the link between Facebook and the BJP. There is enough material now in the public domain, including internal memos of senior Facebook management, to substantiate the bias,” he wrote.
Controversy erupted after US media report
Recently, a Wall Street Journal report alleged that Facebook’s content policies favoured the ruling party in India. Since then, the ruling BJP and opposition Congress have been trading barbs over the social media giant’s alleged bias.
The Congress and other opposition parties have attacked the social media giant after a US media report alleged that Facebook did not apply its hate speech rules on BJP leaders.
BJP criticises Facebook
Meanwhile, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad too has launched a scathing attack on Facebook. He too had written to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg alleging bias. Ravi Shankar Prasad said there was a concerted effort by Facebook India officials to delete pages of right-wing ideology.
In his letter, the Union minister blamed that “right from India MD to other senior officials, they all belong to a particular political belief.
FB employees abusing PM, ministers on record
Prasad said that Facebook employees are on record abusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior Cabinet ministers while still working in the company and managing important positions.
“It is problematic when Facebook employees are on record abusing the Prime Minister and senior Cabinet Ministers of India while still working in Facebook India and managing important positions. It is doubly problematic when the bias of individuals becomes an inherent bias of the platform. And it is unacceptable when political biases of individuals impinge on the freedom of speech of millions of people,” the information technology minister said.
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