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Faced with a Political Backlash, Facebook to Update Terms to Remove or Restrict User Content

© REUTERS / Dado RuvicIndia's flag is seen through a 3D-printed Facebook logo in this illustration picture, 8 April 2019
India's flag is seen through a 3D-printed Facebook logo in this illustration picture, 8 April 2019 - Sputnik International
India’s federal government and two main opposition parties- Congress and All Indian Trinamool Congress had objected to the social network platform Facebook lowering its guard on hate-material. While the Congress accused a “sinister connection” between the ruling BJP and Facebook, a letter by the IT Minister pointed to a Congress-Facebook link.

Social network platform Facebook has announced certain changes to its subscription ‘terms’ to enable it to remove or restrict access to user content, services or information, to avoid or mitigate adverse legal or regulatory impacts.

"We want people to use Facebook to express themselves and to share content that is important to them, but not at the expense of the safety and well-being of others or the integrity of our community,” said a notification by Facebook.

The changes would be effected from 1 October.  It comes against the backdrop of India’s federal Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s letter to Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg that “some employees holding important positions at Facebook were abusing the country’s Prime Minister and his cabinet colleagues”.

Similar complaints were also made against the platform by opposition parties such as Congress and Trinamool Congress. Both had alleged ties between the social media platform and the ruling BJP.

On Wednesday (2 September), a parliamentary panel, attached to the Information Technology ministry, summoned Facebook officials to offer a deposition on allegations that it eased its hate-speech rules in a way that favoured BJP, as revealed by the Wall Street Journal.

Facebook India Chief Ajit Mohan, who appeared before the panel, denied the charges, saying it was neutral to all political parties.

Sources told Sputnik that Mohan admitted to the panel that he had earlier worked as a consultant with the Congress Party in Kerala. 

Mohan also told the panel that he had deleted all his articles written against the present-day government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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