A Facebook executive has filed a police complaint in Delhi, alleging online threats to her life, NDTV reported. The 49-year-old woman has named 5 people in the complaint and linked the alleged threats to an article published last week in 'Wall Street Journal', which claimed that Facebook overlooked hate speeches by BJP leaders.
In a complaint registered on Sunday, the executive demanded immediate arrest of the accused and sought police protection.
"I am under constant fear and threat, especially being a woman. The perpetrators are deliberately operating through online accounts to hide their identity and to further spread misinformation and incite violence against me to meet their agenda," she said in her complaint.
"The above threats are in relation to an article dated 14 August 2020 published in Wall Street Journal and further published in a mischaracterized and distorted manner in India by various publications and further widely circulated on social media," she added.
In the report published on Friday, the US newspaper cited interviews with unnamed Facebook insiders to claim that one of its senior India policy executives intervened in internal communication to stop a permanent ban on a BJP MLA from Telangana after he allegedly made communally charged posts.
In its response, Facebook denied the allegations and said that it enforces its hate speech policy "without regard to anyone's political position or party affiliation", NDTV reported.
Seizing on the report, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi accused the BJP and RSS of spreading "fake news" using Facebook and WhatsApp to influence the electorate, triggering a sharp counter-attack from Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who reminded the opposition party of the Cambridge Analytica issue.
The Congress demanded a probe by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) into the charges mentioned in the report, saying they threaten the foundation of Indian democracy and need to be investigated.
Hitting back at Gandhi, Prasad tweeted, "Losers who cannot influence people even in their own party keep cribbing that the entire world is controlled by BJP and RSS.”
“You were caught red-handed in alliance with Cambridge Analytica and Facebook to weaponise data before the elections and now have the gall to question us," he said.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine