NEW DELHI: Days after drubbing in assembly elections in five states, Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday alleged that global social media companies are being manipulated to set political narratives and urged the government to put an end to the ‘systematic interference’ of Facebook and other social media giants on electoral politics in the country.
She said that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are being manipulated to set political narratives in India.
Speaking in Lok Sabha, the Congress MP from Uttar Pradesh Rae Bareli said: “Global companies like Facebook and Twitter are increasingly being used to shape political narratives by leaders, parties and their proxies. This shows the connivance of the ruling establishment with these social media platforms to set political narratives, which is not helpful for democracy and the democratic structure.”
Sonia Gandhi alleged that global social media companies are not providing a “level-playing field” to all political parties. Facebook is being used to disturb social harmony in a “blatant manner”, she added.
“It has repeatedly come to public notice that global social media companies aren’t providing a level playing field to all parties… [There is a] blatant manner in which social harmony is being disturbed by Facebook,” she said.
The Congress leader said that young and old minds are being filled with hate through emotionally charged disinformation and proxy advertising companies like Facebook are aware of it and are profiting from it.
“Reports show a growing nexus between big corporations, ruling establishments and global social media giants,” she pointed out.
Sonia Gandhi urged the government to put an end to “systematic influence and interference of Facebook and other social media giants in electoral politics of the world’s largest democracy”.
“This is beyond parties and politics. We need to protect our democracy and social harmony, regardless of who’s in power,” she added.