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Facebook’s Ankhi Das says facing death threats, files police complaint after WSJ report row

Ankhi Das’ complaint comes amid a BJP & Congress slugfest over a WSJ piece that accused her of protecting the BJP on Facebook. 

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New Delhi: Facebook India’s public policy director Ankhi Das has submitted a written complaint to the Delhi Police Cyber Cell in which she has alleged receiving a number of violent threats in the aftermath of The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article reporting an alleged BJP-Facebook ‘nexus’. 

“I have been receiving violent threats to my life and body, and I am extremely disturbed by the relentless harassment meted out to me by the accused persons,” Das’ criminal complaint reads. 

The complaint, a copy of which was accessed by ThePrint, mentions some Twitter handles that allegedly sent death threats to Das, as well as some posting ‘defamatory’ comments on her pictures. 

“The cyber cell is already inquiring into the matter,” DCP South Delhi, Atul Thakur, told ThePrint. No FIR, however, has been registered in the matter yet. 

Das was named by the WSJ report as being allegedly responsible for protecting BJP leaders from any action, despite them violating Facebook’s hate speech rules.  

“Ms. Das, whose job also includes lobbying India’s government on Facebook’s behalf, told staff members that punishing violations by politicians from Mr. Modi’s party would damage the company’s business prospects in the country…,” the WSJ report had said, quoting company employees. 

A Facebook India spokesperson told ThePrint that the company will soon be releasing an official statement on Das’ complaint.  

An earlier statement by the company said: “We prohibit hate speech and content that incites violence and we enforce these policies globally without regard to anyone’s political position or party affiliation.”

Also read: Facebook takes on Apple over in-app purchases, says fee structure hurts small businesses

‘Time for accountability will come. BJP wont rule forever’

Das’ complaint comes as the Congress has been attacking the ruling BJP government, demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee be set up to probe the matter further.


Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had Sunday also hit out at the Narendra Modi government saying that the “BJP & RSS control Facebook & Whatsapp in India”. 


The party launched a fresh attack Monday, with its leader Salman Anees Soz accusing Das of bigotry. “Facebook can support BJP. It can keep bigots in its ranks. But time for accountability will come. BJP will not rule forever,” he tweeted.


Facebook’s inaction destabilises our democracy. More often than not, Facebook takes no action and, even worse, allows objectionable content to continue despite it being brought to its notice,” Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said in a press statement Monday. 

Praveen Chakravarty, the chairperson of the Congress’ Data Analytics team has also released video statements, accusing Facebook of bias, saying it is “not limited to just one person” in the company. 

“There are many others in that leadership team with a close working relationship with people in the BJP,” Chakravarty said. 


Congress, Left curtailing free speech: BJP

The BJP, however, hasn’t taken the Congress’ allegations lying down. 

Party leader and former minister of state for information and broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, in an opinion piece in The Indian Express Monday, came to the party’s defence — accusing the Congress and the Left of curtailing free speech.

In the piece, titled Facebook is in the dock; we need to resist Left-Congress assault on free speech, Rathore has accused the social media company of “funding and validating “eminent journalists” belonging to the “pro-Left cabal” and empowering them to become “the arbiters of truth on Facebook”. 

“This latest round of manufactured outrage should be seen as the Left’s internecine warfare to control an already-Congress and Left-leaning platform and punish them for even the most minor of thought crimes — allowing alternative viewpoints,” Rathore further says in the column. 

Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had earlier reacted to Gandhi’s accusations tweeting, “Losers who cannot influence people even in their own party keep cribbing that the entire world is controlled by BJP & RSS”.

Amit Malviya, the BJP IT cell incharge, had gone a step ahead and demanded an expose on the “Congress- Facebook alliance”. 

In a tweet, sharing an old speech by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Malviya accused Facebook of allowing the live streaming of her speech, which he alleged “led to death and destruction in Delhi”. 

(With inputs from Aneesha Bedi)  


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  1. What is problem if Face Book or any other media is controlled by BJP or congress .? Problem will be when Face book controls our political parties . Bjp is having a big number of supporters running into crores . Naturally Face book being a business entity would like patronage from the multi – million of party supporters . I am looking forward to the day when any Indian BUYS this conglomerate . As for as reaction by RG —- . It is height of stupidity to start Modi Bashing on the base of any article written in city, any country . If tomorrow if any journal writes China has captured New Delhi , What he will start tweeting ? Has he not developed even this much minimum rationality to act or react based on facts , not based on what a person may write in a newspaper in any part of the world ?

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