After week Pressure Facebook bans BJP MLA Raja Singh for hate speech
Under pressure for weeks over its handling of hate speech in India, Facebook on Thursday said it has banned BJP MLA T Raja Singh from its platform and Instagram for violating its policy around content promoting violence and hate. The move came after the social media giant was recently grilled by a Parliamentary committee for not acting against anti-Muslim posts on its platform.
In an official statement, a spokesperson for Facebook said, "We have banned Raja Singh from Facebook for violating our policy prohibiting those that promote or engage in violence and hate from having a presence on our platform."
India is currently one of Facebook's biggest markets, with over 300 million users. The pressure first mounted when the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that Facebook's policy on hate speech was at odds with Indian politics, with some employees alleging favoritism to the ruling party.
The spokesperson for Facebook told the WSJ, "The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive, and it is what led us to this decision."
The WSJ report alleged that Facebook had ignored posts by BJP MLA Raja Singh that contained content that qualified as hate speech according to the social media's policies. In the wake of the report, a Parliamentary panel was set up to discuss issues with Facebook officials about its policy on hate speech.
In recent days, both the ruling BJP and Congress have traded blows on social media, alleging Facebook's bias. Earlier this week, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had written to Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg accusing employees of the social media platform of supporting people from a political predisposition that lost successive elections. In the parliamentary meeting, Facebook officials were asked to list instances where they acted against hate speech.