Under pressure for weeks over its handling of hate speech, Facebook on Thursday said it has banned BJP politician T Raja Singh from its platform and Instagram for violating its policy on content promoting violence and hate.
“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,” a Facebook spokesperson said in an emailed statement. The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led to Facebook’s decision to remove his account, according to the statement.
Facebook — which counts India among its largest markets with over 300 million users – has been in the eye of a storm after a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report alleged that Facebook’s content policies favoured the ruling party in India. The report had alleged that Facebook had ignored posts containing hate speech by BJP MLA Raja Singh. Since then, the ruling BJP and Congress have been trading barbs over social media giant’s alleged bias. In the wake of the WSJ report, a Parliamentary panel had summoned Facebook representatives to discuss the issue of alleged misuse of the social media platform on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had also written to Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg accusing the social media platform’s employees of supporting people from a political predisposition that lost successive elections, and “abusing” the Prime Minister and senior cabinet ministers.
According to sources, the decision to remove Singh from the platform was taken after an extensive process that the company follows in determining which individuals meet the criteria for policy violation and the work had been ongoing for some time to review Singh’s actions.