An article published by US-based Wall Street Journal has set Indian politics ablaze. Alleging that social media network Facebook overlooks hate speech by BJP leaders, the article claimed that ruling Bharathiya Janata Party(BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh(RSS) are making efforts to control social media in India especially through Facebook and WhatsApp.
In a blistering attack, Congress party leader demanded a probe by a Joint Parliamentary Committee in the wake of shocking reports while the party MP Shashi Tharoor also flagged the issue.
BJP & RSS control Facebook & Whatsapp in India.
They spread fake news and hatred through it and use it to influence the electorate.
Finally, the American media has come out with the truth about Facebook. pic.twitter.com/Y29uCQjSRP
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 16, 2020
Rahul also demanded the social media giant to remove all Facebook India staffers who had any connection with BJP and RSS.
According to the WSJ report, two other senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) politicians posted hateful content potential to trigger communal riots. However, they were also deleted after the newspaper made queries about them with the social media company.
Further, the main opposition also alleged that the personnel at Facebook Inc were well aware of the hate messages and posts being circulated but chose to remain mum due to various reasons.
However, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union minister for electronics and information technology, refuted the allegation made by the opposition, accusing the Congress of “weaponising” social media data before last year’s parliamentary elections.
“Losers who cannot influence people even in their own party keep cribbing that the entire world is controlled by BJP and RSS. You were caught red-handed in alliance with Cambridge Analytica and Facebook to weaponise data before the elections and now have the gall to question us?” he lashed out.
Responding to the allegations, Facebook said it banned hate speech and content that incited violence and enforced these policies globally without regard to anyone’s political position or party affiliation. “While we know there is more to do, we are making progress on enforcement and conduct regular audits of our process to ensure fairness and accuracy,” it said.
It can be noted that Facebook recently invested $5.7 billion in Reliance Industries’ digital unit.