Facebook enforces its hate speech guidelines irrespective of anyone’s political position or party affiliation, news agency ANI reported quoting company’s spokesperson.
The social media platform has faced criticism over allegations that it favours the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government in India, to push its own business goals in the Asia’s third largest economy. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Ankhi Das, Facebook India’s director for public policy, had opposed the removal of content from BJP leaders, that qualifies as hate speech.
While the WSJ report quotes a Facebook official saying that Das did oppose taking down the alleged ‘hate speech’ content, it added that it doesn’t influence the company’s decision to remove it.
It may be noteworthy that Facebook has taken down many such posts following the WSJ report.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi criticized Facebook and said it’s controlled by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological parent of the BJP. Congress MP, Shashi Tharoor had also tweeted that a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology would “certainly wish to hear” from Facebook about the report. Some other Congress leaders have also demanded the creation of a Joint Parliamentary Committee to look into the allegations.
Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, attacked the Congress and said the party was caught “red handed” in alliance with Cambridge Analytica, which had used Facebook to affect elections in the US.
While Facebook is being accused of siding with the BJP in India, it has also been accused of subduing conservative speech in the US. The company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, was questioned by conservative members of a US Congress antitrust sub-committee on the same recently.