T. Raja Singh, a member of the Telangana state legislative assembly, is the BJP politician who, according to Facebook’s current and former employees, violated the company’s hate speech rules and also qualified as to be classified as ‘dangerous’ – after his off-platform activities were considered.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Raja Singh published anti-Muslim posts on Facebook. He said Rohingya Muslim refugees should be shot and called Indian Muslims traitors, while also threatening to demolish mosques.
In a video message posted on Twitter, Raja Singh has however claimed that he doesn’t have an account on Facebook.
He said, “There are many Facebook accounts open in my name which I am not responsible for…. I can’t stop them all. I am not responsible if anyone likes or shares their posts. My official Facebook account was hacked in 2018 and blocked, which I complained about to the Cyberabad commissioner (of police). I have got no reply on why it was hacked. I have never given any incendiary speech on my official Facebook or Twitter accounts.”
But when the matter of hate posts made by Raja Singh was raised with Facebook’s top India official, Ankhi Das, she reportedly told Facebook staff members that punishing violations by politicians from the BJP would damage the company’s business prospects in the country.
The WSJ report has put the BJP’s attitude towards hate speech against a particular community, and its lobbying with Facebook in question.
Facebook’s current and former employees also told the American newspaper, “Das’s intervention on behalf of Mr. Singh is part of a broader pattern of favoritism by Facebook toward Mr. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party and Hindu hard-liners.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, Das’s team also took “no action” after BJP politicians posted content accusing Muslims of intentionally spreading the coronavirus.