The liberal brigade is up in arms against Ankhi Das of Facebook again for her alleged bias in favour of the ruling dispensation. After accusations were levelled against her in previous weeks accusing her of allowing hate content to remain on the platform, the mainstream media appears to have found new gossip with which to tarnish her image. Ankhi Das is Facebook’s policy director for India and South and Central Asia.
New allegations, again raised by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), claim that between 2012 and 2014, Ankhi Das engaged in behaviour that according to Facebook staffers betrayed the platform’s commitment to neutrality on politics. In one of the internal messages, the executive is claimed to have written, “We lit a fire to his social media campaign and the rest is of course history.”
Ankhi Das apparently made other comments disparaging the Congress party. Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said that the posts had been taken out of context and appears to defend their executive. He said, “These posts are taken out of context and don’t represent the full scope of Facebook’s efforts to support the use of our platform by parties across the Indian political spectrum.”
The rest of the report by WSJ is a series of insinuations and allegations without any evidence that Ankhi Das engaged in any unethical behaviour that affected election outcomes. It’s important to understand here that Facebook has been targeted by left-wing hate mobs, which includes the media establishment, after CEO Mark Zuckerberg refused to censor US President Donald Trump on the platform like his Twitter counterpart.
Media and the Left do not really have a problem with political bias
It is important to understand here that the media and the Left is seeking to punish Facebook because the platform has resisted caving to them entirely. They do not have a problem with political bias per se, they only have a problem when a platform is either neutral or appears to be biased against their stated objectives.
For instance, Raheel Khursheed, who once happened to be the head of Twitter India for news and politics, was quite openly biased against Prime Minister Modi. Khursheed accused Narendra Modi of committing a ‘Muslim massacre’ without any evidence.
Raheel Khursheed also mocked a 15-year old for challenging controversial communist leader Kanhaiya Kumar to a debate. He had joined in with other left-oriented media personalities to bully the teenager for political opinions they did not agree with. During his time with Twitter, and even since he left them, Twitter has been selectively targeting non-Left accounts on the platform. The Left does not have any problem when Twitter India demonstrates ostensible bias against a political party.
Twitter blatantly engages in political partisanship
Twitter has engaged in blatant political partisanship against politicians they do not agree with and in favour of political ideas that are popular among the Left. For instance, in the US, Twitter is quite openly engaging in election interference by selectively censoring Donald Trump, sometimes for entirely dubious reasons.
Twitter censored one tweet of Donald Trump because he promised to enforce law and order amidst rising anarchy on the streets of the US. On another occasion, his tweet was censored because he pointed towards voter-fraud committed through mail-in ballots, a phenomenon that is indeed real despite denial by the Leftist establishment.
The Left does not have any issues with any of it. In fact, the social media platform’s refusal to act would have been considered evidence of their unethical relationship with the Trump administration. In India, CEO Jack Dorsey raised a placard that said ‘Smash Brahminical Patriarchy, a slogan of the delusional and malicious Left, which again is an open demonstration of his political loyalties.
Google engages in political partisanship too
Google is known to work against conservative political opinions as well. Following Donald Trump’s election as the President of the United States of America, leaked videos of internal meetings revealed that its employees were engaging in apocalyptic sermons because a candidate they did not like was voted to power by Americans.
In recent times, Google has chosen to act against rightwing platforms such as Breitbart and The federalist for entirely arbitrary reasons that betray political partisanship. Again, all of this was cheered on by the Left and seen as righteous action against political enemies.
Why target Ankhi Das?
The concerted campaign against Ankhi Das is part of the media’s larger agenda against Facebook. When Mark Zuckerberg came forward and criticised Twitter for its decision to censor Donald Trump and refused to do so himself, he ensured a concerted campaign against himself by the henchmen of the Left establishment.
It ought to be remembered that the Left establishment has not been able to provide any good evidence of professional misconduct on part of Ankhi Das. Personal preference for particular political parties is not grounds for action against the employee or the employers. However, it is precisely what the Left seeks through its concerted campaign of character assassination.
When Twitter and Google engages in worse behaviour and actively discriminates against particular political factions as an institution, the Left actively defends it as they see it as justified action against political enemies. Consistent with this approach, they wish to make Facebook bend to its will through media-generated controversies that are all smoke and no fire.
Until Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg cower before the Left and profusely seek their apology and attempt to pacify them with harsh crackdown on non-Left voices, the media and the Leftist establishment will continue to target the social media platform and its employees in its efforts to gain greater hold over it.