New Delhi: Facebook employees in the US and other countries are questioning whether the company’s India team is following adequate content regulation practices, according to a Reuters report.
The report said 11 Facebook employees have written to the company leadership demanding that the platform denounce “anti-Muslim bigotry” while ensuring Facebook’s policies are applied equally across the board.
According to the Reuters report, the open letter had been posted on an internal Facebook platform. It comes in the wake of a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article that accused Facebook India of favouring the ruling BJP to protect its businesses in the country.
The WSJ report alleged that Facebook’s top public policy executive in India, Ankhi Das, ensured that anti-Muslim hate-speech posts, particularly by BJP MLA Tiger Raja Naval Singh Lodh, were not censored.
‘Frustrated, saddened by events’
Responding to the controversy, the Reuters report said, the 11 Facebook employees have written that they are saddened and frustrated by the recent events.
“It is hard not to feel frustrated and saddened by the incidents reported … We know we’re not alone in this. Employees across the company are expressing similar sentiment,” the letter read. “The Muslim community at Facebook would like to hear from Facebook leadership on our asks.”
The employees have also sought more “diverse representation” in Facebook’s policy teams in India and other markets.
‘Facebook India top brass will have tough questions to answer’
Following the WSJ article, Facebook India head Ajit Mohan had defended Das in an internal post. “(The WSJ) article does not reflect the person I know or the extraordinarily complex issues we face everyday that benefits from Ankhi and the Public Policy team’s expertise,” Mohan had written, according to the same Reuters report.
Mohan had also said Facebook is “confident that the article’s claim that political affiliations influence decision making in India is inaccurate and without merit”.
Despite Mohan’s confidence about the WSJ article’s inaccuracy, Reuters cited an unnamed source to say that Facebook India’s top brass will have to “answer tough questions on what really happened”.
Quoting another source, the Reuters report said Facebook employees are deliberating whether separation between government relations and the teams for content policy should be stricter, while a debate on content moderation processes is also taking place.