Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Derek O'Brien has written to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on 31st August over an alleged bias of a section of the organization towards certain political parties. On the same day, O'Brien had written to Facebook’s election integrity lead in India Natasha Jog over concerns of blocking of hundreds of TMC supporters’ Facebook and Whatsapp accounts ahead of the 28th August Trinamool Congress Chattra Parishad (TMCP) Foundation Day.
O'brien points out the alleged bias of senior Facebook management in India while mentioning the concerns over the blocking of accounts of TMC supporters in the letter to Zuckerberg as well.
“We, the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), India’s second-largest opposition party, have had serious concerns about Facebook’s role during the 2014 and 2019 General Elections in India. After careful consideration, the AITC raised this issue in June 2019 in a forum no less than the Parliament of India,” said Derek O'Brien in his letter while also enclosing the portion of the speech delivered during the motion of thanks to the President’s address.
The TMC MP’s letter goes on to say, “A few years ago, I had expressed to you my concerns on some of these issues and urged you, in the interest of transparency, to investigate these serious charges against Facebook’s senior management in India. Please do all it takes to urgently work towards maintaining the integrity of your platform in the Indian electoral process.”
O'Brien was referring to October 2015 when the TMC MP was a member of the IT Standing Committee and had met Zuckerberg in Delhi. O'Brien had expressed concern about the senior Facebook India management and the organization’s role in the Indian general election.
Ankhi Das, who heads public policy for Facebook in India and other Asian countries, was under scanner after a report in The Wall Street Journal claimed she deliberately neglected hate speech by BJP leaders on Facebook to protect the company’s business prospects in India.
The Left Front in West Bengal had also accused Das of working in the interest of TMC as her father in law is two time MLA and former Minister Rabiranjan Chatterjee. The red brigade had also alleged in their tweets that Das played a significant role during the 2016 Assembly elections in West Bengal while advising TMC in their social media endeavour.