11.8 C
New York
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Home Trends Indian lawmakers accuse Facebook of political bias

Indian lawmakers accuse Facebook of political bias

Facebook is facing heat in India, its biggest market by users, over a report that claimed the company compromised its hate speech policy to favor the ruling party.

Politicians from both Bharatiya Janata Party, which rules the government in India, and opposition Indian National Congress lambasted Facebook for its supposed favoritism to the other and thereby taking a political stand in the country.

The debate was sparked by a Wall Street Journal report on Friday which claimed that Ankhi Das, Facebook’s top public-policy executive in India, had opposed applying the company’s hate-speech rules to a member of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party.

The report added that posts from at least three more members of BJP individuals and groups were flagged internally for “promoting or participating in violence.”

In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said the platform prohibits hate speech and content that incites violence and that it enforces “these policies globally without regard to anyone’s political position/party affiliation.”

“We’re making progress on enforcement and conducting regular audits of our process to ensure fairness and accuracy,” the statement follows.

Rahul Gandhi of Congress, who until mid-last year served as its President, tweeted over the weekend that “BJP controls Facebook and WhatsApp in India. “They spread fake news and hatred through it and use it to influence the electorate.”

Several more politicians with Congress including Shashi Tharoor have shared similar statements. Tharoor tweeted that the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology “would certainly wish to hear from Facebook about these reports and what they propose to do about hate-speech in India.”

BJP officials have offered a range of responses. India’s IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad pointed to Congress’ link with Cambridge Analytica and accused Congress’ supposed alliance with Facebook itself to “weaponise data before the elections.” He added, “Now [they] have the gall to question us?”

In an op-ed published with local media, Member of Parliament Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore accused Facebook of being “left-leaning in India.”

“Merely scratching the surface reveals how this storm in a teacup is merely an exercise to browbeat Facebook for ‘allowing’ certain opinions to even exist. It is no secret globally that Facebook has been hauled up by various government bodies for controlling the flow of facts,” he wrote in a piece for Indian Express.

“In India, too, we have seen examples of Facebook actually filtering out non-Left and non-Congress viewpoints through manufactured labels of ‘fake news.’ They are even accused of using shadow banning algorithms,” he wrote.

New Delhi-based digital rights advocacy group Internet Freedom Foundation on Monday wrote to the Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology, calling for summoning of Facebook’s top global executives, extensive hearings and an international human rights audit leading to reparations for victims.

Source: TechCrunch

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Trade unions to go on nationwide strike on Thursday

Central trade unions will go on a nationwide strike on Thursday and expects participation of over 25 crore workers to protest against various policies...

“Nivar” Is Going To Turn Into “Monster” Cyclone! The Government Announces Public Holidays

Cyclone Nivar, the slow-moving cyclone storm over the tepid waters of the Bay of Bengal, is turning into a monster. On Wednesday evening, "Cyclone Nivar"...

Why Companies Like White Hat JR Deserve To Be Banned & Scrapped Out Of Indian Startup Eco-system

The recent controversy that has erupted between WhiteHat Jr, founder Karan Bajaj, Pradeep Poonia, and Aniruddha Malpani, both of whom have been strong critics...

Punjab farmers start assembling near Haryana borders

Punjab farmers have started assembling near Haryana borders with tractor-trailers for their proposed march to Delhi against the Centre's agriculture-related laws. The Haryana authorities too...

Recent Comments

%d bloggers like this: