Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Amid Facebook row, Raja Singh denies posting communal content

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Hyderabad: Raja Singh, the lone BJP MLA from Telangana and apparently in the centre of a row over social media giant Facebook’s policy on hate speeches, has rejected allegations he makes communally loaded posts online, asserting he only works in the national interest.

He said his official FB page had been “hacked and blocked” in 2018 but that there has been no response from the police on a complaint filed by him on the matter so far.

In a report published last week, US newspaper Wall Street Journal had cited interviews with unnamed Facebook insiders to claim one of its senior India policy executives intervened in internal communication to stop a permanent ban on a BJP MLA from Telangana after he allegedly made communally charged posts.

Incidentally, Singh, known for his pro-Hindutva views, is the only saffron party legislator from the southern state.

In a video released on Monday, Singh said, “I am being projected in such a way that I am the most dangerous in the entire world (like) he (Singh) says something on social media, then something or the other happens.

I would like to tell the media that I am a person who works in national interest. Cite one example where I could be blamed for any social strife,” he said.

He claimed many social media accounts have been opened across the country in his name and said it was not possible for him stop all those people.

He said he cannot be held responsible if somebody shared or posted something.

“My official Facebook account was hacked and blocked in 2018,” he said, adding he lodged a complaint with the police in this connection but that there has been no reply so far.

He never posted any inflammatory speeches on his official social media accounts, Singh contended.

Alleging there were many in the country who made inflammatory speeches, including AIMIM leaders in Telangana, he said nobody initiated action against them.

He sought to know why he was being targeted and said it was ‘wrong.’

The legislator said he would continue to work in the national interest.

A slugfest had 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 BJP.

Seizing on the report, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had accused the BJP and RSS of spreading “fake news” using Facebook and WhatsApp to influence the electorate, triggering a sharp counter-attack from Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who reminded the opposition party of the Cambridge Analytica issue.

Congress and the CPI (M) have demanded a probe by a joint parliamentary committee into the issue.

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