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IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Accuses Fb Workers Of Abusing PM Modi

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India’s IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad alleged that Fb staff had abused Prime Minister Modi and a number of other Cupboard ministers on-record

Prasad added that the platform had selectively pulled down content material from these believing in ‘right-of-centre’ ideology within the run-up to the 2019 Basic elections in India

The letter comes greater than two weeks after Fb was accused of not taking motion in opposition to hateful content material posted BJP legislators

Union Legislation Minister, and a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Get together (BJP) Ravi Shankar Prasad, in a strongly worded letter to Fb CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday (September 1), has alleged that staff of the social media platform have been “abusing” the Prime Minister of India, in addition to a number of cupboard ministers on-record, and known as the incident “problematic”.

“It is doubly problematic when the bias of the individual becomes an inherent bias of the platform. And it is unacceptable when political biases of individuals impinge on the freedom of speech of individuals,” the letter learn. No particular cases of Fb staff “abusing” Modi or different cupboard ministers have been cited within the letter.

Within the letter, Prasad additionally acknowledged that the social media platform had selectively pulled down content material and supplied no proper of enchantment to folks supportive of the right-of-centre ideology in India, within the run-up to the 2019 Basic Elections. 

“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 the right-of-centre ideology,” Prasad wrote within the letter, a replica of which has been accessed by Inc42, alleging that the incidents of supposed bias and inaction from Fb India have been indicative of the dominant political views of people working within the firm. 

Apparently, Prasad — who additionally holds the Electronics and Data Expertise (IT) and Communications portfolios within the Authorities of India — has made the allegations of Fb India staff harbouring a bias in opposition to the ruling get together, two weeks after the social media big was implicated in a The Wall Road Journal (WSJ) story for not taking motion in opposition to hateful content material posted by BJP legislators with a purpose to search favours from the Indian authorities. 

After the WSJ story was printed, Fb was accused by India’s opposition events, the Indian Nationwide Congress (INC) and the Aam Aadmi Get together (AAP), of undermining India’s democracy and pandering to the ruling get together’s needs. The Congress even wrote a letter to Fb CEO Mark Zuckerberg, asking the corporate to provoke a high-level probe into the matter and make the findings public. Alternatively, the peace and concord committee of the AAP-dominated Delhi Legislative Meeting summoned Fb India’s Public Coverage head Ankhi Das — who was talked about within the WSJ story — for its probe which sought to research whether or not hateful content material on the platform had fuelled discontent, finally resulting in the Delhi riots in late February.

Now, Prasad’s allegations appear to be an try to spin the narrative, by accusing Fb of really being against the ruling get together in India and harbouring an anti-BJP bias. Prasad defined the identical in his letter by saying that the latest media stories have been a results of “selective leaks” from Fb, meant to painting an “alternate reality”.

“This interference in India’s political process through gossip, whispers and innuendo is condemnable. This collusion of a group of Facebook employees with international media is giving a free run to malevolent vested interests to cast aspersions on the democratic process of our great democracy,” Prasad added.

The letter, whereas referring to misinformation associated to the Covid-19 pandemic on Fb, additionally flagged the platform’s insurance policies of outsourcing fact-checking to third-party fact-checkers. Based on Prasad, Fb can’t absolve itself of its duty to guard customers from misinformation and “instead outsource this to shady organisations with no credibility.”

“How can an organisation like Facebook be oblivious to these realities?” Prasad stated in his letter.



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