The Congress party on Saturday has written to Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, the second time in a fortnight, asking him to specify the steps being taken by his company to investigate the charges against its operations in India.
In a tearing allegation, Congress has claimed that WhatsApp, has been willingly allowed by Zuckerberg’s India team, to be appropriated for hate speech and the consequent tearing of India’s fabric of social harmony.
Congress general secretary in-charge of organisation KC Venugopal also asked him to explain a global media report claiming that even WhatsApp, used by 400 million Indians, is compromised and controlled indirectly by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The congress leader said that the party is “compelled to write again in such short span of time because of further information and revelations made public” through a new article in a media publication, which makes “three points that are alarming and violate both the spirit and the law of operations of foreign companies in India”.
The senior Congress leader had written to Zuckerberg on August 18, asking him to probe allegations that the social media company’s India team dispensed favourable treatment towards the ruling BJP.
Venugopal, citing the news article in his letter, claimed the BJP has been allowed to exercise control of WhatsApp’s India operations in return for a possible license for its payment operations, which is critical for the future of the messaging app in India.
Congress has also claimed that “more than just one person in his company’s leadership team in India is biased and partisan in favour of ruling BJP in their professional endeavours”. The problem, Venugopal, said is larger, deeper and more pervasive than initially assumed.
The WSJ report cited interviews with unnamed Facebook insiders and claimed the company’s senior India policy executive Ankhi Das intervened in internal content review processes to stop a ban on BJP’s Telangana lawmaker Raja Singh, whose posts targeted the Muslim community. It said Das told staff members that punishing violations by BJP politicians would damage the company’s business prospects in India.