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Inaction to contain hateful content: Facebook's India policy head Ankhi Das quits

  • The current and former Facebook employees said Das’s intervention on behalf of Singh is part of a broader pattern of favoritism by Facebook towards Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party and Hindu hard-liners
Updated 28 Oct 2020

(Karachi) Facebook's policy head of India and South Asia, Ankhi Das, has quit after she was blamed for her intentional and deliberate inaction to contain certain hateful content in India, The Hindu reported.

As per details, Das, who was responsible for looking after operations in India, had blocked action against leaders associated with the BJP and other Hindutva groups.

A report published in The Wall Street Journal stated that Ankhi Das opposed applying hate speech rules to the BJP’s Tiger Raja Singh out of fear of ruining the company’s relationship with the ruling party. Singh is the BJP's lone MLA in the Telangana assembly and is notorious for making communally provocative statements.

"Das, whose job also includes lobbying India’s government on Facebook’s behalf, told staff members that punishing violations by politicians from Modi’s party would damage the company’s business prospects in the country…," the report said.

“The current and former Facebook employees said Das’s intervention on behalf of Singh is part of a broader pattern of favoritism by Facebook towards Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party and Hindu hard-liners,” it added.

The report highlighted that Ankhi Das’s team also took no action after BJP politicians posted content accusing Muslims of intentionally spreading the coronavirus and plotting against the nation.

The controversy drew widespread attention after All India Congress Committee released a letter they had sent to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg seeking an investigation into the India team and its alleged links with certain political parties.

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi also stated in a tweet that BJP and RSS control Facebook and WhatsApp in India.

Meanwhile, Facebook India stated that Das resigned from her post to pursue interests in public service.

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