‘Facebook Has Become a Tool to Spread BJP's Fake News, Hate Speech’: Main Indian Opposition Congress

© REUTERS / Dado RuvicA Facebook logo is displayed on a smartphone in this illustration taken January 6, 2020.
A Facebook logo is displayed on a smartphone in this illustration taken January 6, 2020. - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.10.2021
Whistleblower Sophie Zhang, a former data scientist at Facebook, last Friday revealed that political parties such as Delhi’s governing Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), federally governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and opposition Congress had used fake accounts during the 2020 Delhi legislative assembly elections to influence voters.
India's main opposition party Congress on Monday alleged that Facebook has now "Become Fakebook" and that it is spreading the lies of the country's governing BJP party.
During a press meet, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera demanded that a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) should probe the continued "favouritism" shown by Facebook toward the Bharatiya Janata Party.
He also questioned the reasons behind organisations such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bajrang Dal not being designated as dangerous organisations despite recommendations from Facebook’s safety team.
The RSS is the parent organisation of the BJP, while Bajrang Dal is the youth wing of the leading Hindu organisation - Visha Hindu Parishad (VHP).
He alleged that the callous attitude of the company towards the people of India is reflected by the fact that they spend 87 percent of their misinformation budget on policing English-speaking audiences, whereas those audiences make up only 9 percent of their user base.
The Congress party was speaking in view of the recent revelation that Facebook knew very well that they weren't equipped to filter hate speech, especially in the Hindi and Bengali languages, as per research documents leaked by whistleblower Frances Haugen, a data engineer who worked at Facebook, and yet they took no decisive action against the perpetrators of such alleged hate.
In a series of tweets, the party shared various slideshows highlighting the purported tryst of the social media giant with the BJP government.
The allegation came after the Associated Press (AP) reported: "Facebook in India has been selective in curbing hate speech, misinformation and inflammatory posts – particularly anti-Muslim content".
"From research as recent as March of this year to company memos that date back to 2019, the internal company documents on India highlight Facebook’s constant struggles in quashing abusive content on its platforms in the world’s biggest democracy and the company’s largest growth market".
"Communal and religious tensions in India have a history of boiling over on social media and stoking violence", the AP report stated.
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