Facebook hate speech row: Congress writes to Mark Zuckerberg again
The Congress party has written to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, asking him about the steps taken by the social media giant to investigate the recent hate speech allegations. Recent reports have suggested that Facebook does not apply its hate speech regulations to members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. The Congress party's letter is the second such missive sent to Facebook in a fortnight.
Will pursue legislative and judicial actions in India: Congress
According to NDTV, in its letter, the Congress party said, "We urge you to let us know what steps your company is planning to take to investigate these matters... will also be pursuing legislative and judicial actions in India to ensure a foreign company cannot continue to cause social disharmony in our nation for the pursuit of private profits."
Congress alleges quid-pro-quo relationship between Facebook and BJP
Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal alleged a "quid-pro-quo relationship" between Facebook India and the ruling BJP. Venugopal said the Congress was compelled to write to Facebook again after "another article by another reputed and credible American media publication." Notably, after the initial Wall Street Journal report that sparked the hate speech row, TIME magazine also reported on Facebook's ties to the saffron party.
TIME reported on Facebook, WhatsApp's role in spreading hate speech
The TIME report detailed BJP's ties to Shivnath Thukral, Facebook's former public policy director for India and South Asia. It stated how an anti-Muslim post by a BJP politician remained on Facebook for a year, despite being flagged. The report goes on to mention how Facebook and WhatsApp are used to spread hate speech and misinformation. Thukral is now WhatsApp's India public policy director.
WSJ reported on Facebook's inaction against BJP members
The TIME report was published nearly a fortnight after the WSJ's report which alleged that Facebook did not apply its hate speech rules to BJP members, with an executive saying that doing so would damage the social media giant's business prospects.
Facebook employees urged company leaders to denounce 'anti-Muslim bigotry'
After the WSJ report, the news agency Reuters also accessed an open letter written to Facebook's leadership by 11 employees on one internal platform which demanded the company leaders acknowledge and denounce "anti-Muslim bigotry." A Facebook source told the news agency that the company's India leadership would have to answer some tough questions on what really happened.
BJP has hold over WhatsApp: Rahul Gandhi
Congress leader and former party president Rahul Gandhi tweeted the TIME report on Saturday. Gandhi wrote, "America's Time magazine exposes WhatsApp-BJP nexus: Used by 40 crore Indians, WhatsApp also wants to be used for making payments for which Modi government's approval is needed." He alleged that the saffron party has a "hold over WhatsApp," which is used by around 400 million people in India.
Facebook officials summoned before Parliamentary panel
Facebook India is scheduled to appear before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology on September 2 to respond to the allegations reported by the WSJ. The panel will be chaired by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.