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Set Up JPC: Probe FB-BJP Nexus

August 17, Monday, 2020

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly condemns the role of global social media behemoth, Facebook, as exposed by the Wall Street Journal, particularly the functioning of its India policy chapter. Facebook is not following its own laid down policy against communal hate content.

This confirms the overall apprehensions over the Facebook’s activities across its three platforms: WhatsApp and Instagram. A stinging exposure by New York Times in 2018 revealed its questionable practices. This exposure raises serious questions about the huge social media investment and operations of the BJP and its role in promoting hate between communities. The recent investment of Facebook in Reliance strengthens the apprehension of monopoly control, especially, in the absence of an effective social media internal regulatory oversight. The huge financial resources at the disposal of BJP aided further by the opaque electoral bonds scheme completely ensures its control over social media.

The Polit Bureau calls for an urgent and thorough enquiry into this nexus between Facebook-WhatsApp-Instagram and the BJP; fixing accountability and recommending effective mechanisms for barring these platforms from promoting communal hatred.

The Polit Bureau demands that a Joint Parliamentary Committee be immediately constituted to probe this nexus. Pending the findings of the JPC, FB should be barred from operating with any government department or constitutional body like the ECI etc.

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