Congress Asks Mark Zuckerberg To Probe Facebook India Functioning

New Delhi: Congress has asked Mark Zuckerberg to order an internal inquiry into the functioning of Facebook’s India unit.

In a letter to the CEO of Facebook Inc – renamed as Meta Platforms — the party alleged that Facebook India is biased towards the “ruling dispensation” despite its “proclivity” for sharing hate speech, misinformation, fake news and inflammatory content.

Congress had written to Zuckerberg twice last year as well, questioning the neutrality of Facebook’s India team following a Wall Street Journal report that the company’s Policy Director for India, South and Central Asia, Ankhi Das had opposed applying ‘hate-speech rules’ to four individuals and groups linked with BJP despite being flagged internally for promoting or participating in violence.

Das quit the company in October last year.

In the latest letter by India’s main Opposition party, Congress social media department head Rohan Gupta drew Zuckerberg’s attention to “apparent and evident bias that your company has shown in our country towards the ruling dispensation despite their proclivity for sharing hate speech, misinformation, fake news and inflammatory content on your platform”.

Gupta wrote: “Over the last two years an abundance of evidence has been released that points to the negligence of your company in controlling this hate speech and deliberately ignoring internal documents raising concerns over the same issues. Not only have your employees pointed out that the AI your platform uses is not adequate to identify vernacular languages but in addition your team here has failed to even set up basic keyword detection for problematic content.”

Gupta claimed Facebook’s ‘cost-cutting approach towards hate review led to a drastic and rapid increase in such content’ over the last two years.

“India is one of your largest markets with over 370 million users and it is extremely unfortunate that your company continues to favour its business interests over the lives and safety of your users. I strongly urge you to conduct an internal enquiry into the functioning of Facebook India and release the findings to the public,” he said.

Congress reiterated the demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into Facebook India’s conduct.

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