Cong accuses BJP of controlling FB, WhatsApp; calls for JPC inquiry

New Delhi, August 16

Accusing the BJP and the RSS of controlling Facebook and WhatsApp in India, the Congress on Sunday alleged that the 2 had attacked democracy within the nation and demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into alleged violations by the social media platform and its messaging service.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “BJP and RSS management Facebook and WhatsApp in India. They unfold faux information and hatred by it and use it to affect the citizens.

“Finally, the American media has come out with the truth about Facebook.” He tagged a Wall Street Journal report on the problem.

Congress chief Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted: “Facebook – WhatsApp sinister connection to BJP authorities uncovered! Is Facebook getting used to unfold ‘Fake News’ and ‘Hate Material’? What is the join of Facebook-India leaders to BJP?

“Does it not warrant a JPC probe?”

Addressing a digital press convention, Congress spokesperson and former Union Minister Ajay Maken stated: “There are 40 crore Indians on WhatsApp and over 28 crore on Facebook. So, a probe is necessary into the commercial dealings, propagation of hate content, and connection of Facebook and WhatsApp employees with the BJP.”

“The bias and alignment of the Facebook India’s leadership team with the BJP and RSS is not limited to just their Head of Public Policy in India. There are many others in that leadership team with a close working relationship with the BJP.”  The Congress stated the federal government too ought to make clear the “quid pro quo” with WhatsApp and Facebook and what kind of enterprise dealings that they had with the federal government.

Congress Data Department Chairman Praveen Chakravorty stated: “I met the WhatsApp CEO and raised the issue in the past after the Congress Working Committee took it up, and the CEO heard me politely but did not act.”

The Congress stated it had raised the problem with the Facebook crew in India. “We met the team of Ankhi Das on May 15 and complained about the manipulative content; the team heard us but did nothing,” claimed Rohan Gupta, Congress Social Media head. Das is the Public Policy Director, Facebook-India, South and Central Asia.

“What gave Facebook the guts and the gumption to intrude, interfere, and intervene in the world’s largest democratic exercise? First and foremost, we must remember that this is not just about Facebook. Facebook also owns WhatsApp. Facebook and WhatsApp control information, news, and communication for millions of Indians. And the BJP controls Facebook and WhatsApp in India,” stated Chakravorty.

Asked if the Congress misplaced previous elections attributable to this “manipulation”, the Congress leaders stated it isn’t solely elections however its impact on the nation as a complete. The get together asserted that it was like attacking the nation’s soul by propagating one-sided content material which is “mostly of hatred”.

“Yesterday was a unique day. We celebrated our Independence Day and freedom from the British. But later in the day, a reputed American newspaper told us how we Indians are not truly free yet. How hundreds of millions of Indians are controlled, divided, and manipulated through fake news and hate speech propagated by the ruling party through the US social media giant, Facebook,” the Congress added.

The get together leaders quoted sentences from the Wall Street Journal story to emphasize their factors.

The United States’ Congress has summoned Facebook CEO Marc Zuckerberg and investigated its function in election manipulation up to now. The UK too has issued warnings to Facebook. Facebook was accused of comparable interference in Brazil.

“India’s rich electoral democracy cannot be sacrificed at the altar of Facebook and WhatsApp,” the Congress asserted. — IANS

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