Facebook bans India's ruling party lawmaker over hate speech row

“We have banned Raja Singh from Facebook for violating our policy prohibiting those that promote or engage in violence and hate from having a presence on our platform. The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led us to Facebook’s decision to remove his account, “local media quoted a statement of Facebook as having said.

NEW DELHI, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) — Social media giant Facebook on Thursday banned India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) local lawmaker T Raja Singh in the southern state of Telangana for what it said violating its hate speech policies.

The step was taken amid growing controversy in India over how the social media company regulates its political content.

“We have banned Raja Singh from Facebook for violating our policy prohibiting those that promote or engage in violence and hate from having a presence on our platform. The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led us to Facebook’s decision to remove his account,” local media quoted a statement of Facebook as having said.

Last month a report in foreign media, Wall Street Journal (WSJ), alleged that its content policies favored BJP in India. The report alleged that Facebook had ignored posts containing hate speech by Singh.

Following the report, the opposition Congress party and BJP have been attacking each other over Facebook’s alleged bias.

On Wednesday a parliamentary panel summoned Facebook representatives to discuss the issue of alleged misuse of the social media platform.

Prior to it, India’s federal information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad wrote to Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, accusing the social media platform’s employees of supporting people from a political predisposition that lost successive elections, and “abusing” the prime minister and senior cabinet ministers.

During Wednesday’s panel meeting, parliamentarians from both BJP and Congress questioned Facebook of its leanings, reports said. Enditem

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