New Delhi, Sep 3 (EFE).- A politician from India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was banned Thursday by Facebook on allegations of inciting hate.
The United States-based social media form has been embroiled in a controversy in the South Asian country for allegedly permitting the dissemination of such offensive messages.
Politician T. Raja Singh, a BJP parliamentarian from the southern Indian state of Telangana, had been under the spotlight for posting content believed to be divisive.
“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,” said a Facebook spokesperson.
The decision, which came into effect from Thursday, came as a result of a “process for evaluating potential violators” that the company described as “extensive,” prompting them to take the decision to remove his account.
This ban comes a day after a parliamentary panel questioned several Facebook employees behind closed doors about the alleged favoritism and permissiveness concerning hateful messages by BJP politicians, according local media reports.
The controversy involving the social media giant in the country started on Aug.14, when an article in The Wall Street Journal claimed that Facebook had ignored divisive content and hate speeches psted by BJP leaders.
The article said that Ankhi Das – the head of Facebook’s public policy in India – opposed the application of the company’s rules on hate speech concerning members of the BJP inciting people to promote or take part in violence.
According to WSJ, several employees alleged favoritism towards the ruling party, and that Das ignored posts from BJP members that violated their policies because acting against them would damage the company’s business prospects in the country.
The posts in concern included those by Telengana lawmaker T. Raja Singh, who, however, took to Twitter to distance himself from the accusations.
Singh said there were many Facebook pages that used his name and that, since he did not have an official account, he was not responsible for any of their posts.
After learning about Facebook’s decision to ban him permanently, Singh once again denied the accusations against him.
“I’ve rec’d news through media that I’ve been banned by
@Facebook for the so-called controversial speeches of mine. I’d like to clarify that I’ve not been using FB since April 2019 So, banning me makes no sense,” he tweeted.
India has 290 million Facebook users, the highest in the world, followed by the US with 190 million, according to July data from the statistics portal Statist. EFE