Delhi Govt Panel to Summon Facebook Officials, including Ankhi Das

Meanwhile, a case was registered on Monday, on the complaint of Ankhi Das.

Updated
India
3 min read
Ankhi Das (left), Director of Public Policy, India, South and Central Asia for Facebook on Monday, 17 August, filed a complaint at Cyber Cell Unit, Delhi against a number of people for allegedly issuing violent life threats.
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Delhi Assembly’s Peace and Harmony Committee will send summons to Facebook officials including Ankhi Das in connection with Facebook’s “alleged deliberate and intentional inaction to contain certain hateful content in India”, the panel said, according to ANI

“The committee has received multiple complaints addressed to its chairman Raghav Chadha against the officials of Facebook for their alleged deliberate and intentional inaction to contain hateful content in India.”
Delhi Assembly’s Peace and Harmony Committee

Case Filed After Facebook India’s Ankhi Das Alleges Threat to Life

Meanwhile, a case was registered on Monday, on the complaint of Ankhi Das, Director of Public Policy, India, South and Central Asia for Facebook, Delhi Police informed ANI,

“On a complaint regarding online threats and harassment received from Ankhi Das, a case has been registered under relevant sections of the law and investigation has been taken up by the CyPAD Unit.”
Delhi Police

Ankhi Das, Director of Public Policy, India, South and Central Asia for Facebook, on the night of Sunday, 16 August, filed a complaint at Cyber Cell Unit, Delhi against a number of people for allegedly issuing violent life threats online, ANI reported.

The Complaint

Das, in a four-paged complaint, has reportedly identified a few Twitter accounts who – according to her – issued threats.
According to The Indian Express, Delhi Police officer reportedly said that, “The complaint has been received and the matter is under inquiry.”

The complaint by Das comes as she is caught in the eye of a political storm in India over Facebook’s alleged bias towards the BJP in regard to hate speech, as per an investigation by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

What Does The Wall Street Journal Report Say?

The WSJ report, citing current and former employees of Facebook, says that the social media company’s "top public-policy executive in the country, Ankhi Das, opposed applying the hate-speech rules to Mr Singh (controversial BJP MLA T Raja Singh) and at least three other Hindu nationalist individuals and groups flagged internally for promoting or participating in violence.”

Das, according to the report, told staff members that "punishing violations by politicians from Modi's party would damage the company's business prospects in the country".

Parliamentary Committee to Look into the Report

According to The Indian Express the Parliamentary Standard Committee on Information Technology has said that it will look into the WSJ report.

Shashi Tharoor, chairman of the panel informed The Indian Express that he will certainly look into the matter and “seek the views of Facebook.

Facebook Denies Allegations

Meanwhile, according to ANI, a Facebook spokesperson, however, has denied the allegations in the WSJ article and said:

“We prohibit hate speech and content that incites violence and we enforce these policies globally without regard to anyone’s political position or party affiliation. While we know there is more to do, we’re making progress on enforcement and conduct regular audits of our process to ensure fairness and accuracy.”   

Other Reactions

The alleged bias of Facebook against hate speeches by the BJP has led to a political upheaval in India and raised questions on the impartiality of the social media giant.

Several Opposition leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, have targeted Facebook for furthering BJP’s propaganda, while Congress’ Randeep Surjewala demanded a probe into the matter by a Joint Parliamentary Committee.

(With inputs from The Indian Express and ANI)

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