Rahul says BJP and RSS control Facebook, BJP leaders remind him of Cambridge Analytica row

File photo | Congress MP Rahul Gandhi at Parliament | Praveen Jain | ThePrint

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New Delhi: Sharpening its attack on the ruling party, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Sunday said the “BJP and RSS control Facebook and WhatsApp in India”.

Gandhi was referring to a news report by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on 14 August that said Facebook India had turned a blind eye to hate speech by a BJP leader and three other “Hindu nationalist individuals and groups” to avoid damaging the social media platform’s business prospects in its biggest market.

The allegation has given opposition parties more ammunition to target the BJP over hate speech.

“BJP & RSS control Facebook & Whatsapp in India. They spread fake news and hatred through it and use it to influence the electorate. Finally, the American media has come out with the truth about Facebook (sic),” Gandhi tweeted.

Responding to Gandhi’s tweet, MP and senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor also posted, “The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology would certainly wish to hear from @Facebook about these reports & what they propose to do about hate-speech in India.”

Another senior Congress leader, Manish Tewari, termed the expose “disturbing” and said it suggested interference in Indian electoral and democratic processes. He also demanded a parliamentary probe into the matter in India as well as in the US.

“Expose by @WSJ of @Facebook & Ankhi Das are disturbing.Suggests interference in Indian electoral&democratic processes.Needs Parliamentary probe in India & US JPC of Indian Parlament & US Congress must examine issues in depth,” Tewari wrote, tagging Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and WSJ journalists Newley Purnell and Jeff Horwitz.

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