Facebook Employees Question India Policy After Controversy: Report

There is an open letter, written by Facebook employees, which demands that leaders denounce “anti-Muslim bigotry.”

2 min read
There is an open letter, written by Facebook employees, which demands that leaders denounce “anti-Muslim bigotry”.

Facebook and it top executive in India, Ankhi Das, have been facing questions internally over the way political content is regulated in the country, Reuters reported, attributing the information to sources with direct knowledge and internal posts seen by the publication.

The report is titled ‘Exclusive: Facebook employees internally question policy after India content controversy - sources, memos’ and was published on Wednesday, 19 August. It uncovers the crisis of the impact of a recent Wall Street Journal report, which revealed Das’ alleged bias towards Prime Minister Modi’s BJP in not taking action against his politicians on hate speech on the social media platform.

Das has been in the eye of a storm ever since the publication of the report. She filed a complaint alleging she was being threatened and harassed, and an FIR was also filed against her in Chhattisgarh on the basis of a senior journalist’s complaint.

Facebook has been battling a public relations and political crisis in India after the WSJ report, Reuters stated. Even within, in the United States and around the world, Facebook employees have been raising questions about whether procedure and content regulation practices were being followed, the report added.

Denounce ‘Anti-Muslim Bigotry’: Open Letter by Facebook Employees

A letter, written by eleven employees, demanded that leaders acknowledge and denounce the “anti-Muslim bigotry” and ensure policy consistency. The letter also demanded that Facebook’s “policy team in India (and elsewhere) includes diverse representation,” Reuters added.

“It is hard not to feel frustrated and saddened by the incidents reported... We know we’re not alone in this. Employees across the company are expressing similar sentiment,” said the letter. “The Muslim community at Facebook would like to hear from Facebook leadership on our asks.”

Responses From Das and Facebook

Facebook and Ankhi Das did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment. Following the report, Facebook responded to Reuters. They said they prohibit hate speech that incites violence and enforces policies without regard to political position or party affiliation.

“While we know there is more to do, we’re making progress on enforcement and conduct regular audits,” said a company spokesperson, the report said. The social media giant has more than 300 million users in India, its biggest market.

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