‘Problematic when Facebook employees on record abuse Prime Minister’: Ravi Shankar Prasad writes to Mark Zuckerberg

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Updated: Sep 02, 2020 9:07 AM

The Congress party is now demanding a probe by a joint parliamentary committee into alleged BJP-Facebook links.

Ravi Shankar Prasad and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. (file pic)

Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has written a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over the political predisposition of the Facebook India team. Prasad in his three-page letter accused Facebook India of ‘bias and inaction’ on complaints lodged by right-of-centre ideology people.

Prasad, who heads the Information and Technology portfolio, also cited ‘credible media reports’ to accuse the Facebook India team of being managed by people who belong to a particular political belief.

“I have been informed that in the run up to 2019 general elections in India, there was a concerted effort by 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 right-of-centre ideology,” he wrote.

“It is problematic when Facebook employees are on record abusing the Prime Minister and senior Cabinet Ministers of India while still working in Facebook India and managing important positions,” Prasad said.

“It is doubly problematic when the bias of individuals becomes an inherent bias of the platform. And it is unacceptable when political biases of individuals impinge on the freedom of speech of millions of people,” the Union minister’s letter stated.

Prasad’s letter comes at a time when the Congress has stepped up its attack on the Modi government and accused it of managing the social media giant. The party has accused the BJP and RSS of controlling Facebook and WhatsApp in the country. According to the Congress’ charge which cited a media report, Facebook has flouted its own rules in taking actions against hate speech circulated by BJP leaders.

The Congress party is now demanding a probe by a joint parliamentary committee into alleged BJP-Facebook links.

Prasad’s letter comes just ahead of the meeting of a Parliamentary committee where opposition parties are likely to raise the issue of Facebook India’s alleged bias towards BJP.

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