Amid the ongoing political row, Facebook has clarified that it presents an open, transparent and non-partisan platform which denounces hate and bigotry in any form.
"We have been accused of bias in the way we enforce our policies. We take allegations of bias incredibly seriously, and want to make it clear that we denounce hate and bigotry in any form," said Ajit Mohan, vice president and managing director, Facebook India, in a blog post.
"We have removed and will continue to remove content posted by public figures in India when it violates our Community Standards," he added.
The development comes after the social networking major and its top lobbying executive in India, Ankhi Das, faced criticism in the wake of a news report that said she opposed applying hate-speech rules to some Hindu nationalist individuals and groups, and to a politician from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
"Individuals who are designated as "dangerous" under our policies are removed from our services altogether, and all praise, support and representation of them is taken down, as well. Because the penalty associated with designation is so severe, it's important that our analysis is comprehensive and detailed, and that our process applies consistently and fairly around the world," Mohan said.
Meanwhile, the parliamentary standing committee on Information Technology has summoned Facebook on September 2 to discuss the issue of alleged misuse of social media platforms in the wake of claims that the US firm did not apply hate-speech rules to certain BJP politicians. A day before, the panel will also discuss the issue of internet shutdowns and has called representatives of the Jammu and Kashmir administration and others.
Besides representatives of Facebook, the committee has asked representatives of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to remain present on September 2 to discuss on the subject of "safeguarding citizens' rights and prevention of misuse of social or online news media platforms including special emphasis on women security in the digital space".
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