New Delhi: Facebook, facing the election heat and unable to stop misinformation and fake news from circulating on its platforms, is busy doing something never heard of: Sending its representatives to users’ home to verify if the post with political content was actually written by them.
IANS has contacted one such Facebook user in New Delhi who was recently visited by a Facebook representative for the verification process related to the content the user had posted. “It was like cops coming to your door for passport verification.
The Facebook representative asked me to prove my credentials by asking for my Aadhaar card and other documents to understand if I am the one who had posted the political content,” the person who did not wish to be named told IANS. The user was left stunned to see a Facebook representative landing at his home for inquiring about a post.
“It was a shocker for me. How come a social media platform does that to a user? What about a user’s privacy? I have never heard of any such incident anywhere. Was this at the behest of the government?” asked the user. IANS sent a couple of mails to Facebook for their version on this but to no avail.
This kind of behaviour has not been seen or reported earlier even at the global level as several countries have gone through elections. According to legal experts, physically verifying a user is something that is unprecedented and it called for tough action against the social media platform.
“This action, if true, clearly infringes upon the privacy of a user. Sending a representative to physically verify a user is a blatant invasion of his or her privacy space. Only the state can act like this under proper laws,” Pavan Duggal, the country’s top cyber law expert and a senior Supreme Court advocate, told IANS.
Facebook, Duggal said, can at best discontinue a Page, Group or delete the post, or remove the user from its platform as it has done so in the past. “In such a scenario, the user can sue Facebook and even the government for allowing such activities under its nose that infringes on the privacy of a user,” Duggal noted.