Facebook went soft on Bajrang Dal, feared retaliation: Report

New Delhi: Facebook seems to have two faces. On one hand, it concluded that Bajrang Dal supported violence against minorities across India and qualified as a “dangerous organization” that should be banished from the platform.

On the other hand, the Dal has been allowed to have a field day on the social network out of political and safety considerations, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

Facebook pussyfooted on acting against the right-wing group, which is tied by its apron strings to the ruling BJP, because “cracking down on the Bajrang Dal might jeopardise both the company’s business prospects and its staff in India”, the newspaper wrote, reaffirming its reportage earlier this year on the subject.

Besides risking infuriating India's ruling Hindu nationalist politicians, banning Bajrang Dal might precipitate physical attacks against Facebook personnel or facilities," an internal Facebook report said, according to the newspaper.

In August, the Journal had reported on an alleged bias in Facebook’s policies that endorsed the ruling BJP; in fact, former Facebook executive Ankhi Das had lobbied in favour of a leader of the ruling dispensation who made anti-Muslim comments.

Facebook, which banned the politician just days after the report was published, denied the most ‘egregious’ of charges but admitted that it had to do better to curb hate speech. Das stepped down soon after.

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Free Press Journal