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'Facebook employees on record abuse PM Modi', Ravi Shankar Prasad writes to Mark Zuckerberg Facebook row

'Facebook employees on record abuse PM Modi', Ravi Shankar Prasad writes to Mark Zuckerberg

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 02 Sep 2020, 12:17 am

New Delhi/IBNS: Amid a row over Facebook being allegedly biased towards the members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has written a letter to the social media giant's founder Mark Zuckerberg alleging quite the opposite.

In his letter to Zuckerberg, Prasad on Tuesday alleged that employees of Facebook "are on record abusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior cabinet ministers" while still working in India and managing important positions.

There have been "multiple instances recently where Facebook has been used by anarchic and radical elements whose sole aim is to destroy social order, recruit people and assemble them for violence. However, we are yet to see any meaningful action against such elements," Prasad said.

"Is this action also held back by the same vested interest groups who have an incentive in stoking political violence and instability in India?" he asked.

The IT minister wrote he had been told that during the campaign of the 2019 election, "there was a concerted effort by the Facebook India management to not just delete pages or substantially reduce their reach but also offer no recourse or right of appeal to affected people who are supportive of the right-of-centre ideology."

He alleged that the management of Facebook India is dominated by "people who belong to other political beliefs."

Without naming the Congress, he added that "people from this political predisposition have been overwhelmingly defeated in successive free and fair elections. Having lost all democratic process by dominating the decision-making apparatus of important social media platforms. Facebook is the latest tool in their arsenal to stoke internal divisions and social disturbances."

Meanwhile, representatives of Facebook India will appear before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, headed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, on Wednesday following the controversy.

US publication Wall Street Journal had reported that Facebook had ignored the hate-speech posts, favouring the BJP.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook's senior executive Ankhi Das took the call of "deliberately ignoring" hate speech by BJP leaders.

The Journal reported that she had said that punishing violations by BJP workers "would damage the company's business prospects in the country."

The Journal's article alleged that Facebook has a "broader pattern of favouritism" towards the BJP.