New Delhi: Social media giant Facebook has ‘opposed applying hate-speech rules’ to groups linked with the BJP and allowed anti-Muslim posts on its platform, said a report in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Also Read - Ex-Finance Minister P Chidambaram Says Farm Bills Undermine Food Security System, Slams BJP's Attempt to 'Malign' 2019 Manifesto
A top Facebook executive in India reportedly refused to apply the company’s hate speech rules to T Raja Singh, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) only legislator in Telangana and other Hindu nationalist individuals and groups, despite the fact that they were ‘flagged internally for promoting or participating in violence.’ Also Read - Monsoon Session: Finance Minister Diluting GST Compensation Issue With ‘Act of God’ Excuse, Says DMK MP in Lok Sabha | Highlights
According to the reports of WSJ, Ankhi Das, Facebook India’s Public Policy Director told staff members that “punishing violations” by BJP politicians “would damage the company’s business prospects in the country, (Facebook’s biggest global market by number of users). Also Read - BJP Announces 'Know Namo' Quiz on Narendra Modi's Birthday, Winners to Get Books Signed by PM
It added that the current and former Facebook employees said Das’s intervention on behalf of Singh is part of a broader pattern of favoritism by Facebook toward Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party and Hindu hard-liners.
Notably, Telangana BJP MLA T Raja Singh had threatened to demolish mosques in his Facebook posts and public speeches. He had also termed Indian Muslims traitors.
Following his post, internal Facebook staff had suggested banning the BJP MLA account under a policy called ‘Dangerous Individuals and Organizations’, but Das refused to take action against Singh.
However, when the Journal asked the social media platform about Singh’s controversial posts, Facebook stated that the BJP leader was no longer allowed to have an official, verified account, designated with a blue check mark badge.
A few days ago, Facebook said that it purged 22.5 million pieces of hate speech content in the second quarter (April-June) this year, increased from 9.6 million pieces of content in Q1, and its proactive detection rate for hate speech increased 6 points from 89 per cent to 95 per cent.