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Cong’s Venugopal Wants Parliamentary Committee Probe into ‘Facebook’s Bias’

TPE Correspondent

New Delhi September 18th

Congress leader K C Venugopal on Thursday demanded a probe by a parliamentary committee into Facebook’s alleged interference in the country’s electoral democracy and that the social media platform publish all hate speech posts that were allowed since 2014.

Making a special mention in Rajya Sabha, Venugopal said media reports have revealed about Facebook India’s “blatant biases and dubious practices” in content regulation. “This is a damning and serious allegation of Facebook India’s interference in the country’s electoral democracy,” he said, adding that India is one of the biggest markets in terms of users for Facebook and WhatsApp.

Therefore, the expectations of social and moral responsibility of Facebook are even higher in nations such as India, he observed. The reports, Venugopal said also mention that hate speech of at least three politicians were wilfully permitted by Facebook India.

“We have repeatedly raised the issue of bias with many executives of Facebook and WhatsApp, over the past few years, to mostly deaf ears,” he said, and demanded that the government should ask for a high-level inquiry by Facebook Headquarters into Facebook India leadership team and their operations and submit a report to the board of Facebook Inc within a reasonable period of time.

He also demanded to “publish and make transparent” all instances of hate speech posts since 2014 that “were allowed” on the platform. “A parliamentary committee probe should be initiated to probe this very serious issue of Facebook’s interference in our electoral democracy,” the Congress MP said.

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