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People whose political base has shrunk seek to dominate discourse on Facebook: BJP attacks Congress

A bitter war of words has erupted between the Congress and the BJP following a report in the Wall Street Journal claiming that Facebook ignored applying its hate speech rules in India.

Published: 18th August 2020 04:04 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st August 2020 09:04 PM   |  A+A-

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Photo | Parveen Negi/EPS)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: In a swipe at its critics over the Facebook row, the BJP said on Tuesday that people whose political base has "shrunk like anything" seek to dominate discourse on these platforms and asserted that everybody regardless of his ideology has got the right to air his views there.

Senior party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said former Congress president Rahul Gandhi believes that any organisation that does not work to his liking is acting under the pressure of the BJP and the RSS.

A bitter war of words has erupted between the Congress and the BJP following a report in the Wall Street Journal claiming that Facebook ignored applying its hate speech rules to politicians of the ruling party in India.

Gandhi has accused the BJP and RSS of spreading "fake news" using Facebook and WhatsApp to influence the electorate, inviting sharp attack from the saffron party.

ALSO READ | Facebook 'interfering' with India's electoral democracy: Congress writes to Mark Zuckerberg

At a BJP press conference, Prasad, who is the Union law and IT minister, said it is for Facebook to decide what to do as far as the story in the Wall Street Journal is concerned.

He said that hundreds of pages of BJP supporters were also removed by Facebook.

"If the platform is public, then every Indian regardless of his ideology and commitment has got the right to convey his view. It is a hard fact we need to know that people whose political base has shrunk like anything seek to dominate discourse on these platforms," Prasad said.

Hitting out at Gandhi over his hate-speech barbs at the BJP, he said the Congress leader's comments during the Delhi assembly polls that youth will hit Prime Minister Narendra Modi with sticks in six months if he doesn't address the issue of unemployment in the country, was a "text book case of instigation for violence".

ALSO READ | Opposition steps up demand for JPC, accuses Facebook of inaction

Wasn't it a hate speech, the Union minister asked and also referred to Congress president Sonia Gandhi's call for "aar par ki ladai" at a public meeting to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in this regard.

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