New Delhi: A complaint has been registered in a Uttar Pradesh court against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and three others for using national symbols and letterheads of President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on its site without due permission. Chief Judicial Magistrate Anand Prakash Singh on Wednesday set November 12 as the next date of hearing when the petitioner lawyer Omkar’s statement would be recorded.
Others named in the complaint are Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Product Officer Chris Cox, Facebook India Head Ajit Mohan. The petitioner has further alleged that the social media giant runs an application which allows certain national symbols to be used without permission.
He has submitted screenshots as evidence. The petitioner has demanded that the named persons be punished for this offence as they were not only getting cheap popularity with the use of such symbols but were also earning a lot of money.
“This has hurt my sentiments and has hurt national pride,” the petitioner has said.
Recently, Facebook is establishing a task force comprising hundreds of people in the country to prevent bad actors from abusing its platform. The announcement was made by Facebook’s Vice President for Global Policy Solutions Richard Allan.
Facebook came under the intense scrutiny of policymakers in the US after allegations of Russia-linked accounts using the social networking platform to spread divisive messages during the 2016 presidential election surfaced.
Since then, it has stepped up efforts to check abuse of its platform by bringing in more transparency in the conduct of its businesses, including in advertisement policies.
In May this year, Facebook had announced that all election-related ads on Facebook and Instagram in the US must be clearly labelled — including a “Paid for by” disclosure from the advertiser at the top of the ad.