The Wall Street Journal article that claimed ruling Bharathiya Janata Party(BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh(RSS) are making efforts to control social media has set a political storm in India. Though Facebook refuted the allegations stating that it banned hate speech and content that incited violence without regard to anyone’s political position or party affiliation, the social media giant continued to draw flak from all ends.
Hours after Congress leaders like Rahul Gandhi and Shashi Tharoor took to social media with all guns blazing, Ankhi Das, the public policy director of Facebook India has filed a complaint with the Delhi Police against a number of people who allegedly issued “violent threats” to her online.
Alleging that she has been receiving thousands of messages with ‘violent threats against my life and body through online posting/publishing of content’, Ankhi Das stated that she was intentionally vilified by the accused due to their political affiliations.
According to the complaint, the threats are in relation to an article dated August 14, 2020, published in the Wall Street Journal. “The content, which even includes my photograph is evidently threatening to my life and body and I fear for my safety as well as that of my family members. The content also maligns my reputation based on a news article and I am subjected to name-calling, cyberbullying and eve-teasing online,” she included in her statement.
The four-page complaint submitted by Das mentions Facebook and Twitter handles of the people she has accused of sending her violent threats. A senior Delhi Police officer said, “The complaint has been received and the matter is under inquiry.”
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.