Accusing the BJP and the RSS of controlling Facebook and WhatsApp in India, the Congress' Rahul Gandhi on Sunday alleged that the two had attacked democracy in the country and demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into alleged violations by the social media platform and its messaging service.
However, the politician had another thing headed his way after BJP's Ravi Shankar Prasad called him out on his allegations.
Wall Street Journal's latest report on Facebook favouring BJP and RSS. This was after a top executive at Facebook Public Policy director Ankhi Das had told staff at Facebook that it would hamper business.
Rahul Gandhi shares a report on Facebook neglecting BJP hate speech
Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter today when he alleged that BJP and RSS' hate-speech was going unchecked on Facebook. He said in his tweet, "BJP & RSS control Facebook & Whatsapp in India. They spread fake news and hatred through it and use it to influence the electorate. Finally, the American media has come out with the truth about Facebook."
According to the WSJ report, The Public Policy Director Ankhi Das told staff members that "punishing violations" by BJP's politicians, "would damage the company's business prospects in the country, Facebook's biggest global market by number of users." This was with regard to Telangana politician T Raja Singh's anti-muslim statements.
You were caught red-handed in alliance with Cambridge Analytica & Facebook: IT Minister
Congress went on to call for a JPC enquiry into the matter. However, BJP's Ravi Shankar Prasad, India's IT minister slammed the politician for his tweet, "Losers who cannot influence people even in their own party keep cribbing that the entire world is controlled by BJP & RSS. You were caught red-handed in alliance with Cambridge Analytica & Facebook to weaponise data before the elections & now have the gall to question us?"
In another tweet, he said, "The fact is that today access to information and freedom of expression has been democratized. It is no longer controlled by retainers of your family and that is why it hurts. Btw, haven't yet heard your condemnation of the Bangalore riots. Where did your courage disappear?"
This is not the first time Facebook's stand on hate speech has come into question. However, this is sure to cause a major debate in Indian political circles, especially between Congress and BJP.