You are here: Home » Companies » News
Business Standard

Facebook responds to Congress, says it is non-partisan and denounces hate

Amid a raging controversy Facebook, the social media giant has told the Congress that it is non-partisan, denounces hate and bigotry in all forms

Topics
Facebook | Congress

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Facebook

Amid a raging controversy over Facebook's alleged political bias and interference in India's democratic process, the social media giant has told the that it is non-partisan, denounces hate and bigotry in all forms and strives to ensure that its platforms remain a space where people can express themselves freely.

Responding to concerns raised by the opposition Congress, Facebook's Public Policy, Trust and Safety Director Neil Potts has said that it has taken the party's allegation of bias very seriously and will ensure that it remains non-partisan and is committed to maintaining the highest levels of integrity.

The accused of interfering in India's democratic process and social harmony and being soft on members of the ruling BJP on applying its hate-speech rules.

The had written to CEO Mark Zuckerberg following reports by the Wall Street Journal and the Time magazine about the conduct of and WhatsApp India's leadership team, alleging bias and proximity with the ruling BJP.

"We take seriously the concerns and recommendations you raised on behalf of the Indian National Congress... First and foremost, we want to take this opportunity to state that we are non-partisan and strive to ensure that our platforms remain a space where people can express themselves freely. We take allegations of bias seriously and want to make clear that we denounce hate and bigotry in all forms," Potts said in the letter, dated September 1.

In his letter to AICC general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal, who had written to Zuckerberg twice, Potts said, "On the question of hateful content by public figures, we want to assure you that our Community Standards prohibit attacks against people based on their protected characteristics, including religion, caste, ethnicity, and national origin. In line with our hate speech policy, we have removed and will continue to remove hateful content by public figures in India on our platforms."

Facebook is at the centre of a raging political debate in the country with both the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress accusing it of colluding and influencing opinion.

The BJP has accused the social media giant's employees of supporting people from a political predisposition that lost successive elections, and "abusing" Prime Minister and senior cabinet ministers.

In a three-page letter to Zuckerberg, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad flagged the social media platform's alleged "bias and inaction" by individuals in the Facebook India team on complaints by people supportive of right-of-centre ideology.

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Thu, September 03 2020. 16:24 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU