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Sonia Gandhi urges govt to keep tabs on Facebook

Sonia Gandhi urges govt to keep tabs on Facebook
Sonia Gandhi  |  Photo Credit: Reuters
16 Mar, 2022
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Congress President Sonia Gandhi has urged the government to put an end to “systematic influence and interference” in Indian electoral politics by social media firms, including Facebook.

While speaking in the Lok Sabha during Zero Hour, Gandhi said, “The rising danger of social media being abused to hack our democracy. Global companies like Facebook and Twitter are used increasingly to shape political narratives by leaders, parties and their proxies.”

“I urge the government to put an end to the systematic interference and influence of Facebook and other social media giants in the electoral politics of the world’s largest democracy. This is beyond partisan politics,” she said. 

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Gandhi was referring to a report published in Al Jazeera claiming that Facebook had offered cheaper deals to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for election advertisements vis-a-vis other political parties. 

“We need to protect democracy and social harmony regardless of who is in power,” Gandhi further added. 

Though the amount charged by Facebook could not be ascertained, Quartz India has reported that the average price quoted by Facebook to the BJP (its candidates, and affiliated organisations) was ₹41,844 ($546) in order to show one advertisement a million times. However, for the same option, Congress had to pay ₹53,776, which is around 29 per cent more than the ruling party. 

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