Social media giant Facebook on Monday announced the appointment of former Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer, Rajiv Aggarwal as the director of public policy. In his new role, Aggarwal will be responsible for defining and leading policy development initiatives around user safety, data protection and privacy, inclusion and internet governance, for Facebook in India.
Aggarwal, until recently, was the head of public policy for India and South Asia for cab-hailing company Uber. He will be reporting directly to the vice president and managing director of Facebook India, Ajit Mohan, said a statement issued by the company.
In a career spanning 26 years as an IAS officer, Aggarwal served as joint secretary in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade and steered India’s national policy on Intellectual Property Rights.
“We realise we are deeply immersed in the fabric of India and we have the opportunity to help build a more inclusive and safe internet that benefits everyone in the country. I’m thrilled that Rajiv is joining us to lead the Public Policy team,” said Ajit Mohan, vice president and managing director of Facebook India in the statement.
Aggarwal’s appointment comes nearly a year after his predecessor Ankhi Das quit the company amid allegations of bias and not taking down hate speech on the social media platform posted by members of the ruling party.
An article published in Wall Street Journal in August 2020 had said that the public policy team at Facebook did not apply hate speech rules to a post by BJP MLA T Raja Singh. Das was named by the publication which said she had “…opposed applying hate-speech rules to Mr Singh and at least three other Hindu nationalist individuals and groups flagged internally for promoting and participating in violence…”
Facebook had also appointed Sunil Abraham, founder of non-profit for policy and academic research, Centre for Internet Society, as public policy director for data and emerging technology for its India operations in October 2020.