Facebook has been accused of not complying with its hate speech policy when it comes to the ruling party in India, Bharatiya Janata Party. In a new development in the story, an executive from the company has been accused of having conflicting opinions from that of the company. Facebook and any other social media channels generally take a pledge to hold their opinions to themselves and be completely neutral during the time of elections. But with the release of this report, Facebook and the BJP is surrounded in various controversies.
An International daily, the Wall Street Journal, revealed that one of the executives of Facebook in India, Ankhi Das, was found to have a clear inclination towards the ruling party and this was retrieved by the messages that she had sent over the years. Her messages seemed to have attacked the Indian National Congress, which is the main opposition in India.
The messages that she shared have created a lot of suspicion around the conduct of the 2014 elections. In one such message, she wrote, “We lit a fire to his social media campaign and the rest is of course history.” One of the more controversial statements included her hinting at how there was a conspiracy involved in dethroning the Congress party that ruled for 30 years. She said that it has taken 30 years of work to get rid of state socialism finally. She further projected her clear liking for Prime Minister Narendra Modi whom she referred to as ‘strongman’ and someone that has successfully unsettled congress.
What strengthened these allegations was her showing proximity to Katie Harbath, Facebook’s top global election official as her longest fellow traveler, and someone who supported her during the 2014 election campaign.
The daily who owned the guardianship of these messages reported that these messages were exchanged in a Facebook group from 2012 to 2014. This group was dedicated to employees of Facebook India. INC has written to Facebook demanding to know what they have to say about it and how they are dealing with these allegations. They have also demanded a probe by a Joint Parliamentary Committee into the alleged “links of Facebook employees and the ruling establishment”.
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