Facebook row: Everyone’s writing to Zuckerberg from India


An Indian lawmaker from a regional party wrote to Mark Zuckerberg complaining of Facebook’s bias against his party Wednesday, a day after an Indian minister wrote to the Facebook CEO complaining of Facebook being biased against the ruling BJP.

Trinamool’s Derek O’Brien, a member of the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of India’s Parliament, wrote: “With the election in the Indian state of West Bengal just months away, your companies recent blocking of Facebook pages and accounts in Bengal also points to the link between Facebook and BJP.”

He added: “There is enough material now in the public domain, including internal memos of senior Facebook management, to substantiate the bias.”

Tuesday, India’s law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad wrote a scathing letter to Zuckerberg complaining about Facebook’s ‘bias against right of centre’ ideology.

O’Brien also said that the role of Facebook in the last two general elections was raised in the Parliament of india in June 2019 by the Trinamool Congress.

“We, the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), India’s second-largest opposition party, have had serious concerns about Facebook’s role during the 2014 and 2019 general elections in India,” he said.

On Tuesday, Prasad in a 3-page letter to Zuckerberg complained about bias of its top management against the ‘right of centre’. He claimed how some of them “are on record abusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior cabinet ministers.”

India’s The Telegraph newspaper, known for its hard-hitting stance against the ruling BJP, described Prasad’s letter thus: “Prasad, who is also Union law minister and a former information and broadcasting minister, wades into HR issues usually handled by company officials — not elected representatives, unless the area of operation happens to be North Korea.”

The Telegraph also pointed out: “The Wall Street Journal and Time magazine had recently published reports naming Ankhi Das, Facebook’s public policy head for South and Central Asia, while reporting on how the social media giant had condoned hateful speeches of BJP leaders and how it had supported Narendra Modi’s campaign.”