IT Minister writes to Zuckerberg: ‘FB deleted right wing pages before 2019 polls, didn’t act on complaints’

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IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Tuesday wrote to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, raising “serious concerns” that Facebook India management deleted right-wing pages and “reduced their reach” before the 2019 elections, that “employees are on record abusing government officials”, and that “bias and inaction are seemingly a direct outcome of the dominant political beliefs of individuals in your Facebook India team.”

The letter stated: “The spate of recent anonymous, source-based reports is nothing but an internal power struggle within your company for an ideological hegemony. No other logic can explain how facts are being spun by the selective leaks from within your company to portray an alternate reality … This collusion of a group of Facebook employees with international media is giving a free run to malevolent vested interests to cast aspersions on the democratic process of our great democracy.”

It also said: “I have been informed that in the run up to the 2019 General Elections in India, there was a concerted effort by Facebook India management to not just delete pages or substantially reduce their reach but also offer no recourse or right of appeal to affected people who are supportive of the right-of-centre ideology. I am also aware that dozens of emails written to Facebook management received no response. The above documented cases of bias and inaction are seemingly a direct outcome of the dominant political beliefs of individuals in your Facebook India team.”

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