Facebook Takes No Action Against Fake Network “Personally Managed” By BJP MP, Says Whistleblower
New Delhi: Facebook has taken selective action against fake accounts in the run-up to Delhi elections last year, according to a former data scientist with the social media platform, according to a report by NDTV . Sophie Zhang, who became a whistleblower, alleged that the BJP, Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party used fake accounts to influence the polls. She said only one network of accounts, directly linked to a BJP leader, had not been deleted by Facebook.
âWe deleted four of the five fake account networks, but the fifth – at the last moment, just before deleting it – we realized it was related to BJP member Lok Sabha, and as soon as they realized that I couldn’t get an answer from anyone on what to do with this network, âZhang, who worked with Facebook for three years, told NDTV.
Zhang said he found four fake networks at the end of 2019, two of which supported the BJP and the other two supported Congress. âWe removed three of the networks. We were about to remove the last network, but they suddenly shut down because they realized that the fourth network was personally run by a BJP politician and I have nothing could do it. “
The whistleblower recently testified before a UK parliamentary committee and said Facebook was being used as a platform for political manipulation. She said it was now up to India to hold Facebook accountable. The social media platform refuted the claims, stating that they “fundamentally disagree with Zhang’s characterization of our priorities and efforts to eliminate abuse on our platform.”
In January 2020, Zhang claims to have discovered a network of “thousands of accounts” that was used to disseminate pro-AAP political messages and that the accounts falsely portrayed themselves as BJP supporters who chose to support the AAP in the elections. Delhi for the ” with the apparent aim of winning over other BJP supporters. “This fifth network was cut in late January, she said.” The only case we knew who was responsible was a BJP politician that I could not eliminate, “she added.
The whistleblower said despite repeated reminders, Facebook has even refused to acknowledge the problem. âDemocracy cannot survive if there is one set of rules for the elites and the powerful and one set of rules for everyone,â Zhang said.
The whistleblower recently testified before a UK parliamentary committee and said Facebook was being used as a platform for political manipulation. She said it was now up to India to hold Facebook accountable.
Facebook refuted these claims, saying they “fundamentally disagree with Zhang’s characterization of our priorities and efforts to eliminate abuse on our platform” and added that they aggressively attack the abuse. in the world and had specialized teams focused on this work.
âWe have already removed over 150 coordinated inauthentic behavior networks. About half of them were national networks that operated in countries around the world, including those in India. The fight against coordinated inauthentic behavior is ongoing. our priority. We also tackle spam and false engagement issues. We investigate every issue before we act or make public complaints about it, “a Facebook spokesperson said.
The statement, however, does not provide any clarity, particularly on the alleged attempt to influence elections in Delhi or Facebook failing to act against bogus accounts linked to the BJP MP.
Facebook has come under intense scrutiny in India since the Wall Street Journal reported in August 2020 that the company’s senior executive, Ankhi Das, opposed the application of company rules on the matter. hate speech to people and pages linked to BJP. Facebook employees also polled the company on how it regulates political content in the country, which is its largest market – larger than the United States – with more than 32.8 million users. .
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please Click here. We allow sharing of the PDF of the article on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)
Posted on: Saturday October 23, 2021 11:25 am IST