Facebook India’s policy head Ankhi Das quits amid hate speech row

Facebook India's policy head Ankhi Das quits amid hate speech row
A company statement said that Ms Das reigned to pursue "her interest in public service". Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: Ankhi Das, Facebook India’s policy head, has resigned two months after the social media giant was embroiled in a hate speech controversy in the country.

The Wall Street Journal had accused the social media giant of going easy on ruling party BJP supporters who allegedly violated hate speech rules with anti-Muslim posts.

The newspaper also alleged that Ms Das was politically partisan and had made controversial decisions.

The allegations denied by Facebook and said it did not favour any party.

But the row put the social media company in a delicate position in its biggest market. Ajit Mohan, Its head of business for India, was later grilled by an Indian parliamentary committee.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mr Mohan said that Ms Das had stepped down from her role in Facebook to pursue “her interest in public service”.

He added that Ms Das, who was one of the company’s first employees in India, had “played an instrumental role” in its growth in the country and had made “enormous contributions”.

In August, she made headlines when a Wall Street Journal report alleged that Facebook deleted some anti-Muslim posts by a lawmaker from the Bharatiya Janata Party, the ruling party in India, only after the paper asked about them.

Ankhi Das was at the centre of the controversy as she allegedly made the decision not to delete these posts.

Ms Das told employees that “punishing violations by politicians from Mr Modi’s [Prime Minister Narendra Modi] party would damage the company’s business prospects in the country”, according to the paper.

Wall Street Journal also alleged that similar posts by at least three others, who supported the BJP, were not taken down even after they were flagged for violating the company’s hate speech rules.

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