Sat. May 18th, 2024

The Opposition INDIA bloc has written to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, raising concerns about their social media platforms’ alleged role in “aiding communal hatred” in India. The bloc has demanded that these platforms maintain neutrality in the upcoming elections. The letters were prompted by a report in The Washington Post that highlighted the perceived bias of Facebook, WhatsApp, and YouTube towards the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Narendra Modi government.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge shared the letter to Zuckerberg on social media, stating that the INDIA parties have accused Meta of abetting social disharmony and inciting communal hatred in India. In another post, he mentioned that the INDIA parties have also written to Pichai, citing the same investigation by The Washington Post that accuses Alphabet and YouTube of similar wrongdoing.

The Opposition parties, in their letter to Zuckerberg, informed him that the INDIA bloc represents 28 political parties in India, which form the combined opposition coalition and are in power in 11 states, representing nearly half of all Indian voters. They highlighted The Washington Post’s exposes about the role of WhatsApp and Facebook in aiding the communal hatred campaign of the ruling BJP. The article specifically mentions how BJP members and supporters use WhatsApp groups to spread divisive propaganda.

The INDIA bloc parties also referred to another article by The Washington Post titled ‘Under India’s pressure, Facebook let propaganda and hate speech thrive,’ which exposes the clear bias of Facebook India executives towards the ruling government. They claimed that this bias has been known to them for a long time and has been raised on several occasions in the past.

According to the letter sent by AICC general secretary organization KC Venugopal, it is evident from The Washington Post’s extensive investigations that Meta is culpable of abetting social disharmony and inciting communal hatred in India. The opposition parties also claimed to have evidence of algorithmic moderation and suppression of opposition leaders’ content on Meta’s platform, while simultaneously promoting ruling party content.

In light of the upcoming national elections in 2024, the opposition bloc demanded that Meta’s operations in India remain neutral. They stated that the blatant partisanship and bias towards one political formation by a private foreign company amounts to interference in India’s democracy, which they will not take lightly. The opposition parties urged Meta to consider these facts seriously and ensure that its operations in India do not contribute to social unrest or distort India’s democratic ideals.

The opposition parties found it ironic that they had to write this letter in the birth anniversary month of Mahatma Gandhi, who advocated for non-violence and social harmony. They expressed confidence that Zuckerberg and Meta also desire a harmonious India, in line with the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi.

In their letter to Sundar Pichai, the INDIA parties referred to another exposé by The Washington Post titled “He live-streamed his attacks on Indian Muslims. YouTube gave him an award,” which exposes YouTube’s role in propagating communal hatred and dividing Indian society. They accused Alphabet and specifically YouTube of abetting social disharmony and inciting communal hatred in India. Similar to the allegations against Meta, they claimed to have evidence of algorithmic moderation and suppression of opposition leaders’ content on YouTube while promoting ruling party content.

The INDIA parties appealed to Google, requesting that its platforms operating in India remain neutral and not contribute to social unrest or distort India’s democratic ideals, especially during the upcoming elections. The article concludes with a clarification that it has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.

By admin