Facebook has taken cognisance of an OpIndia report that spoke about an employee of the social media giant who used to work with political strategist Prashant Kishor. Responding to OpIndia, Facebook has said that they treat these matters seriously. However, Facebook has refused to confirm the nature of action that will be initiated against the abusive employee, if any.
The OpIndia report and what it said about the Facebook employee Siddharth Mazumdar
On the 18th of June, OpIndia had published a report about an abusive employee of Facebook who used to work with the political strategist Prashant Kishor. The Facebook employee, who now abuses ideological opponents through an anonymous account called NyaySahay. The article traced his Twitter account back to his old handle, sid_mazumdar. Through that handle, we accessed several articles written by Siddharth Mazumdar that revealed that he was the co-founder of Citizens for Accountable Governance and used to work with political strategist Prashant Kishor. Digging further, we found his LinkedIn account which revealed that he is an employee of Facebook and works as their public policy manager.
The present avatar of the Facebook employee, Siddharth Mazumdar, NyaySahay often abuses Indians, the Modi government, Hindus, and anyone who refuses to agree with his worldview. Even during the India-China stand-off, this handle has questioned the integrity of India and gone as far as to abuse the Prime Minister and anyone who supported India’s actions against China.
Facebook’s statement about abusive employee Siddharth Mazumdar
OpIndia reached out to Facebook via email seeking a response on the report that detailed how their public policy manager was abusing the integrity of India during the India-China stand-off and was also being abusive towards anybody who doesn’t agree with his worldview.
In this regard, OpIndia asked Facebook 5 pointed questions:
1. Is Facebook aware of this situation?
2. Does the abusive tweets, from the past as well as from era when Siddharth joined Facebook, a cause of concern for Facebook? Is Facebook planning any action against him in the wake of the widespread complaint?
3. Does Facebook think that a politically active and aligned person like Siddharth Mazumdar can be fair and non-partisan while discharging his duties as public policy manager?
4. There have been calls on Twitter insisting that Facebook take action against partisan, abusive and biased employees such as Siddhart Mazumdar – is Facebook contemplating any action?
5. Does Facebook have any specific policy for social media use that is applicable to its employees? If yes, what is the policy and does the conduct of Siddharth Mazumdar breach that policy?
However, Facebook failed to respond to the questioned posed. Instead, Facebook issued a short statement that read as follows:
“The matter has been brought to our notice. We expect all our employees to follow an ethical code of conduct and Facebook treats these matters seriously.” – Facebook Spokesperson
If Facebook ‘treats these matters seriously’, will it launch an internal inquiry? The follow up and Facebook’s response
Following the statement by Facebook, OpIndia reached out to the spokesperson yet again to confirm whether any internal inquiry will be launched and action be initiated against the Facebook employee in question. For the first follow-ups, OpIndia did not receive a response. However, later, the spokesperson got in touch with OpIndia to assert that Facebook does not ‘disclose what actions might be taken publicly’. In essence, the Facebook spokesperson refused to confirm whether any action will be taken against their public policy manager Siddharth Mazumdar and whether an internal inquiry will be launched.
Through the conversation, the spokesperson reiterated that Facebook does take this issue seriously and that Siddharth Mazumdar is indeed the public policy manager of Facebook, however, what action will be taken is something that Facebook cannot confirm currently.
What is Siddharth Mazumdar tweeting even after Facebook has been made aware of its employee’s conduct
Even after Facebook spokesperson confirmed that they are aware of the situation and ‘treat these matters seriously’, Siddharth Mazumdar has continued to spew venom on Twitter, often undermining the position of India during the ongoing India-China conflict.
Currently, Siddharth Mazumdar who is an employee of Facebook is planning to approach the Supreme Court to demand an “independent enquiry commission” since he thinks the Modi govt is giving conflicting versions regarding what is happening with China. Essentially, Mazumdar is apparently planning to approach the SC to ensure that the government of India compromises national security and gives a blow by blow account of what transpired at the LAC.
The ideological bias in several social media platforms, specifically Facebook and Twitter have been a subject of discussion worldwide for quite some time. The bias against conservative voices worldwide has led to a heated debate about political parties and ideologically motivated elements making inroads in the management of these platforms. The Cambridge Analytica fiasco blew the lid off how the Left was exploiting Facebook to silence political opponents. In fact, the role of Congress and how it had worked closely with Cambridge Analytica to skew elections was also revealed.
With the ideological bias being admitted by Facebook rather openly, several times we have seen employees of these social media giants displaying their hatred towards conservative voices. In India, the hate has been directed at PM Narendra Modi and any individual who is seen as supporting the Prime Minister.
With Facebook acknowledging that Siddharth Mazumdar is indeed a Facebook employee, it remains to be seen whether any action is initiated against him.