The role of social media is bigger than it has ever been. Not only is it still growing and influencing our life but also plays a key role in shaping one’s opinion. Social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc are not only coming forward to entertain people but are also playing a central role in informing the public about what happens in the world. Many people rely on social media to get news and updates but such platforms also have some guidelines which their respective users are obliged to follow to maintain community standards. Facebook community guidelines read as ‘Our Community Standards apply to everyone, all around the world, and to all types of content. They’re designed to be comprehensive, they are a guide for what is and isn’t allowed on Facebook. We’re working to remove content that has the potential to contribute to real-world harm, including through our policies prohibiting coordination of harm, sale of medical masks and related goods, hate speech, bullying and harassment, and misinformation that contributes to the risk of imminent violence or physical harm. ‘
Such guidelines are kept to make sure that anyone does not misuse these platforms for hurting one’s sentiments or bullying or doing any sort of cybercrimes. But the authenticity of Facebook was questioned by Rahul Gandhi and called Facebook to be partial towards the BJP Government. Congress’s Rahul Gandhi — who has been targeting the BJP every day on social media over its handling of the coronavirus, the state of the economy and the violence in Ladakh – tweeted:
BJP and its ministers have been repeatedly accused of spreading hate speech not only on the podium but also on social media handles but this time the allegations were on Facebook. In an article by a foreign publication, titled “Facebook Hate-Speech Rules Collide With Indian Politics- Company executive opposed the move to ban controversial politician”, the Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook looks the other way in cases of hate speech and objectionable content from leaders and workers of the ruling BJP.
But BJP leaders didn’t back down, they were ready with their retaliations and making Gandhi remember the three-year-old Cambridge Analytica — a London-based data firm accused of accessing data of millions of Facebook users to help elect US President Donald Trump in 2016. Cambridge Analytica’s website said the company provided its services during the Bihar election in 2010 to a political party in India, linking the issue with Congress. As Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who heads the communications department, tweeted :
The Congress had immediately denied BJP allegations that it was misusing data. “Problem: 39 Indians dead; Govt on the mat, caught lying. Solution: Invent a story on Congress & Data Theft. Result: Media networks bite bait; 39 Indians vanish from radar. Problem solved,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted.
Moreover, the FB executive favoured BJP by claiming Congress allegations as false. The Wall Street Journal reported that in Facebook posts, “T. Raja Singh has said Rohingya Muslim immigrants should be shot, called Muslims traitors and threatened to raze mosques.” “By March of this year, they concluded Mr. Singh not only had violated the company’s hate-speech rules but qualified as dangerous, a designation that takes into account a person’s off-platform activities, according to current and former Facebook employees,” the publication added.