BJP used Facebook to spread hate, says Congress demanding JPC probe

New Delhi

The Indian National Congress has blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for using Facebook as a weapon to spread hate and fake news in India and demanded that a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe be conducted on the issue and laws be enacted to restrict Facebook and WhatsApp in the country.

At a press conference in New Delhi, Congress leaders Rohan Gupta and Praveen Chakravarty said it is time Facebook stops being used as a weapon by the BJP to spread hate that threatens India’s unity.

The party also said that India’s democracy was being manipulated by an American technology company and demanded an independent inquiry into the issue.

According to the report, Congress also wrote to Facebook chairman Mark Zuckerberg and asked him to conduct an independent inquiry to probe charges of hate speech and fake news being spread through Facebook and WhatsApp in India.

“I strongly urge you to conduct an internal enquiry into the functioning of Facebook India and release the findings to the public.

It is your responsibility as the head of this organisation to hold those responsible for betraying our people accountable for their actions,” Rohan Gupta, who heads the social media department of Congress, wrote in his letter to Zuckerberg.

“Facebook has become a weapon of the BJP in spreading hatred in the country…There is an attempt to attack the unity of our country and everyone has to understand this and fight it together,” Gupta told reporters at the press conference.

Chakravarty, who heads the party’s Technology and Data cell, said this issue about Facebook is a very serious one and everyone has to fight it together.

Citing an internal report statement, he said that after the Pulwama incident “an average Facebook user in India has seen more images of dead people in their Facebook account than they saw in their entire lifetime on Facebook”. This is besides what is happening on WhatsApp which is private, he said.

“A JPC must be set up to probe into this issue, as we have previously asked for. The Parliamentary Standing Committee must summon Facebook and other executives to investigate this, just as they have done in other democracies like the US and the UK.

And, Laws must be legislated to restrict Facebook and WhatsApp in India,” Chakravarty said. —INP

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