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NEW DELHI: A bitter war of words has erupted between the Congress and the BJP following a report in the Wall Street Journal claiming that Facebook ignored applying its hate speech rules to politicians of the ruling party in India.
The Congress on Tuesday wrote to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, accusing Facebook India of “interfering” with the country’s electoral democracy, and demanded a time-bound high level inquiry into the conduct of Facebook India leadership team, and their operations.
Earlier today, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted that Facebook’s alleged involvement in peddling fake news on the social media platform needs to be questioned.
“We cannot allow any manipulation of our hard-earned democracy through bias, fake news & hate speech. As exposed by @WSJ (Wall Street Journal), Facebook’s involvement in peddling fake and hate news needs to be questioned by all Indians,” he tweeted.

Responding to the attacks, the BJP said that people whose political base has “shrunk like anything” seek to dominate discourse on these platforms and asserted that everybody regardless of his ideology has got the right to air his views there.
Senior party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said Rahul Gandhi believes that any organisation that does not work to his liking is acting under the pressure of the BJP and the RSS.
At a BJP press conference, Prasad said it is for Facebook to decide what to do as far as the story in the Wall Street Journal is concerned.
“If the platform is public, then every Indian regardless of his ideology and commitment has got the right to convey his view. It is a hard fact we need to know that people whose political base has shrunk like anything seek to dominate discourse on these platforms,” Prasad said.
In its response, Facebook had on Monday said the company’s social media platform prohibits hate speech and content that incites violence, adding these policies are enforced globally without regard to political affiliation. However, Facebook, which counts India among its largest markets globally, acknowledged that “there is more to do”.



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