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Business News/ News / India/  2024 Lok Sabha Polls: ‘Remain neutral’, INDIA bloc accuses Google, Facebook of aiding communal hatred
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2024 Lok Sabha Polls: ‘Remain neutral’, INDIA bloc accuses Google, Facebook of aiding communal hatred

The opposition accuses Meta and Google of aiding communal hatred in India. INDIA demands neutrality from Meta and Google in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Meta Platforms Inc., right, and Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Alphabet Inc. (Bloomberg)Premium
Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Meta Platforms Inc., right, and Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Alphabet Inc. (Bloomberg)

2024 Lok Sabha Polls: Opposition alliance ‘INDIA bloc’ on Thursday accused Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai of their social media platforms' alleged role in aiding communal hatred in the country.

In the letters to Google and Facebook, INDIA demanded that the platforms maintain neutrality in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

The letters came after the Washington Post newspaper flagged alleged bias of Facebook, WhatsApp, and YouTube towards the ruling BJP and the Narendra Modi dispensation.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge shared the letter on X (formerly Twitter) and said, “Letter by INDIA parties to Facebook's Mr. Mark Zuckerberg (@finkd) citing the exhaustive investigations by the Washington Post that Meta is culpable of abetting social disharmony and inciting communal hatred in India."

"INDIA parties also write to Google's Mr. Sundar Pichai on an exhaustive investigation by the Washington Post that Alphabet and specifically YouTube is culpable of abetting social disharmony and inciting communal hatred in India," he said in another post while sharing the letter to Pichai.

The opposition parties, in the letter, wrote, “You may be aware of the recent exposes by the Washington Post newspaper about the role of WhatsApp and Facebook in aiding the communal hatred campaign of the ruling BJP."

"In another article titled 'Under India's pressure, Facebook let propaganda and hate speech thrive', the Post has elucidated with evidence the blatant partisanship by Facebook India executives towards the ruling dispensation. This was well known to us in the Opposition for a long time and we have even raised it several times in the past," the INDIA bloc parties said.

"It is very clear from these exhaustive investigations by the Washington Post that Meta is guilty of abetting social disharmony and inciting communal hatred in India. Further, we have data that shows algorithmic moderation and suppression of Opposition leaders' content on your platform while also promoting ruling party content," the letter read. 

"Such blatant partisanship and bias towards one political formation by a private foreign company is tantamount to interfering in India's democracy, one that we in the INDIA alliance will not take lightly," the letter further said.

Following this, they demand that Meta's operations in India remain neutral. 

"In light of the upcoming national elections in 2024, it is our earnest and urgent plea to you to consider these facts seriously and ensure immediately that Meta's operations in India remain neutral and are not used wittingly or unwittingly to cause social unrest or distort India's much cherished democratic ideals," it added. 

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Published: 13 Oct 2023, 08:41 AM IST
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