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No evidence to ban Bajrang Dal: Facebook India

No evidence to ban Bajrang Dal: Facebook India

Addressing the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, Facebook India Head Ajit Mohan stated that the social media giant's fact-checking team has not found anything objectionable in the content posted by Bajrang Dal to initiate a ban. Ajit Mohan was responding to questions by the committee regarding the report published by The Wall Street Journal on December 13th which said that Facebook had chosen not to ban the RSS-affiliated right-wing organization from the platform, despite its security team flagging it as a potentially dangerous organization, fearing for the company's business prospects and the safety of its staff in India

The committee which includes MPs Shashi Tharoor, Karti Chidambaram, and Syed Naseer Hussain had called upon Facebook on Wednesday, to discuss the security of user data. Ajit Mohan and Shivnath Thukral, the public policy director of Facebook, represented the social media giant.

The WSJ's recent report referred to the video of the members of the Bajrang Dal on Facebook claiming responsibility for the vandalism of a Pentecostal Church in Delhi and the imposition of a Hindu idol within which occurred in June. Furthermore recently a video of a Bajrang Dal member from Assam threatening Hindus from visiting churches on Christmas went viral.

Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone responded to the report on The Journal, "We enforce our Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy globally without regard to a political position or party affiliation."

The Wall Street Journal had also reported in August claiming that Facebook India favoured the ruling party and that a former Facebook executive, Ankhi Das, had opposed the imposition of hate speech rules for BJP's Raja Singh who had made anti-muslim comments and called for shooting Rohingya Muslim immigrants. Ankhi Das stepped down following the report.

The Delhi Assembly's Peace Committee had summoned Ajit Mohan in September following reports of Facebook's role in aggravating the Delhi Pogrom in February this year. Mohan, however, refused to answer the summons claiming it to be a violation of his fundamental rights.

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