Facebook says hate speech policies are enforced without regard to any political position
The Congress has sought parliamentary panel investigation after a report said a Facebook executive opposed the idea of removing incendiary posts by BJP leaders.
Social media giant Facebook on Monday said the company prohibited hate speech and content that incited violence and enforced these policies globally without regard to anyone’s political position or party affiliation, ANI reported.
A controversy erupted after an article published by The Wall Street Journal on August 14 reported that a senior Facebook executive opposed the idea of removing incendiary posts by Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, warning that this could hurt the company’s “commercial interests” in India. Ankhi Das, its public policy director for India, South and Central Asia, had also not revealed that Facebook had deleted fake news pages connected to the saffron party, according to the report.
“We are making progress on enforcement and conduct regular audits of our process to ensure fairness and accuracy,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, Das has filed a complaint with the Delhi Police Cyber Cell Unit against a number of people for issuing life threats, according to ANI.
The Congress on Sunday called for a parliamentary panel to investigate what it said was favourable treatment by employees of Facebook overseeing Indian content. After that, Congress MP and Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology chairperson Shashi Tharoor said they would like to hear from Facebook about the report.
Former party chief Rahul Gandhi also accused BJP and its ideological parent Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh of controlling Facebook and WhatsApp in India. “They spread fake news and hatred through it and use it to influence the electorate,” he tweeted. “Finally, the American media has come out with the truth about Facebook.”
However, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad criticised Gandhi and called him a “loser”.
The Opposition party questioned why the Centre was afraid of an investigation by a joint parliamentary committee and said Prasad could be part of the panel.
Also read:Why the allegations about Facebook favouring the BJP are so significant for Indian politics