FB India's controversial public policy head Ankhi Das quits


New Delhi, Oct 27 (IANS): Facebook India's controversial public policy head Ankhi Das is leaving the company with immediate effect "to pursue her interest in public service", the social networking giant announced on Tuesday.

"Ankhi has decided to step down from her role in Facebook to pursue her interest in public service. Ankhi was one of our earliest employees in India and played an instrumental role in the growth of the company and its services over the last nine years," Ajit Mohan, Vice President and Managing Director, Facebook India, said in a statement.

The resignation comes after a Wall Street Journal report on August 14 said that the top leadership at Facebook's India office refused to apply the company's own rules to politicians from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), despite clear violations of Facebook's policies against incitement to violence, hate speech and misinformation.

Das reportedly "told staff members that punishing violations by politicians from Mr. Modi's party would damage the company's business prospects in the country."

Following the report, the Congress raised the issue of what it calls "unholy nexus" of the ruling BJP with Facebook and WhatsApp.

Mohan said that Das "has been a part of my leadership team over the last two years, a role in which she has made enormous contributions."

"I have decided to step down from Facebook after long service to its mission of connecting people and building communities to pursue my personal interest in public service," Das said in a post.

Last week, deposing before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on personal data protection Bill 2019, Das was asked how much funds are spent by the social media giant on data safety, according to sources.

The executives were also questioned on the quantum of Facebook's revenue as well as the profit they are making in India.

Das, who was recently alleged to have ignored hate speech on its platform, along with other representatives, gave a detailed presentation.

Last month, Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had written a hard-hitting letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, blaming the Facebook India management of alleged bias against people supporting the right-of-centre ideology.

The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 empowers the government to ask companies for both anonymous personal and non-personal data.

 

  

Comment on this article

  • anthony, Mangalore

    Tue, Oct 27 2020


    "We cannot allow any manipulation of our hard-earned democracy through bias, fake news & hate speech. : "BJP and RSS control Facebook and WhatsApp in India. They spread fake news and hatred through it and use it to influence the electorate. Finally, the American media had come out with the truth about Facebook." 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."

    Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi had tweeted: "We cannot allow any manipulation of our hard-earned democracy through bias, fake news & hate speech. As exposed by @WSJ, Facebook's involvement in peddling fake and hate news needs to be questioned by all Indians."
    Rahul Gandhi had also tweeted: "BJP and RSS control Facebook and 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." He had also tagged the Wall Street Journal report on the issue.
    Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala had also tweeted: "Facebook-WhatsApp sinister connection to BJP government exposed! Is Facebook being used to spread 'Fake News' and 'Hate Material'? What is the connect of Facebook-India leaders to BJP? Does it not warrant a JPC probe?"

    Good Ankhi Das quits. A JPC Probe should follow to get to know the Truth.

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse


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