"The BJP is changing its stance.If they feel that Facebook is not neutral, they should accept our demand for a full fledged probe against the company. A probe is needed and till the time it is finished, no licenses for WhatsApp pay should be given and the Facebook India team should be suspended," said Rohan Gupta, chairman, social media department, Indian National Congress (INC).
The parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, led by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has summoned Facebook representatives at a sitting of the panel on September 2to hear its views on safeguarding citizens’ rights and misuse of social/online news media platforms.
"We will see tomorrow's outcome and will assess the direction the enquiries will take," Gupta added.
A new Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report on Sunday alleged Ankhi Das, Facebook's public policy director for India supported prime minister Narendra Modi through internal posts between 2012-14 and disparaged Congress.
In his letter to Zuckerberg, Prasad said he has been informed that in the run up to the 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 the right of centre ideology. “I am also aware that dozens of emails written to Facebook management received no response,” he stated and added: “Individuals working in any organisation may have their individual likes or dislikes, but that must not have any bearing on the public policies and performance of the organisation.”
He also wrote that it seems from ‘credible’ media reports that Facebook India team, right from the India managing director to other senior officials, is dominated by people who belong to a particular political belief. “People from this political predisposition have been overwhelmingly defeated by the people in successive free and fair elections....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.”
In a tweet on Tuesday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said: "International media have fully exposed Facebook's and WhatsApp's brazen assault on India's democracy and social harmony. No one, let alone a foreign company can be allowed to interfere in our nation's affairs. They must be investigated immediately and when found guilty, punished."
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