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Home / India News / ‘Dear Ravi Shankar ji…”: Congress reacts to govt’s letter to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg

Reacting to Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s letter to Mark Zuckerberg, Congress on Tuesday questioned the government for not seeking a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into alleged collusion between Facebook India and BJP.

Congress was responding to Prasad who has accused the social media platform’s employees of supporting people from a political predisposition that lost successive elections, and “abusing” Prime Minister and senior cabinet ministers.

“If Modi Govt has an iota of credibility, why doesn’t it agree to a JPC probe into the shameless collusion between #Facebook India & BJP. Why are u running scared? Why are u giving cover fire to guilty? Why protect the colluders? Where is the 56’ chest?,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala asked.

Also read | ‘Facebook’s involvement in peddling fake, hate news needs to be questioned’: Rahul Gandhi

Dear Ravi Shankar ji,

If Modi Govt has an iota of credibility, why doesn’t it agree to a JPC probe into the shameless collusion between #Facebook India & BJP.

Why are u running scared?

Why are u giving cover fire to guilty?

Why protect the colluders?

Where is the 56’ chest? pic.twitter.com/sMbVdvnfww

— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) September 1, 2020

Congress’ retort comes shortly after Prasad wrote a strongly worded letter to Zuckerberg, raising the issue of free speech with Facebook, alleging that the platform is the “latest tool” being used to create “internal divisions and social disturbances” by vested groups.

The controversy between the ruling party, Opposition and social media giant Facebook ensued after a report published by foreign publication WSJ cited interviews with unnamed Facebook insiders and claimed the company’s senior India policy executive Ankhi Das intervened in internal content review processes to stop a ban on BJP’s Telangana lawmaker Raja Singh, whose posts targeted the Muslim community.

The report stated that Das told staff members that punishing violations by BJP politicians would damage the company’s business prospects in India.

Also read: 54 ex-bureaucrats write to Facebook CEO, seek audit of hate-speech policy

In August, Congress had written to Zuckerberg, the second time in a fortnight, asking him to specify the steps being taken by his company to investigate the charges against its operations in India.

In a tearing allegation, Congress had claimed that WhatsApp has been willingly allowed by Zuckerberg’s India team to be appropriated for hate speech and the consequent tearing of India’s fabric of social harmony.

Congress general secretary in-charge of organisation KC Venugopal also asked him to explain a global media report claiming that even WhatsApp, used by 400 million Indians, is compromised and controlled indirectly by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

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