‘Politically sophisticated network tried to influence Delhi polls’

Chadha says he will request Assembly panel looking into allegations against FB to take notice of report

Raghav Chadha, chairman of the Delhi Assembly Committee on Peace and Harmony, on Wednesday said that he will propose the committee to take suo moto cognisance of a report by media platform BuzzFeed News about revelations by a whistleblower from Facebook about an alleged attempt to influence the February Delhi election.

“I am likely to put it before the panel and this will be considered in the ongoing matter. The committee will have to decide on it though,” Mr. Chadha said.

The panel is currently looking into other allegations against Facebook.

Fired FB employee

“In India, she [whistleblower] worked to remove ‘a politically sophisticated network of more than a 1,000 actors working to influence’ the local elections taking place in Delhi in February. Facebook never publicly disclosed this network or that it had taken it down,” read a BuzzFeed News article about a memo sent by a recently fired Facebook employee.

The House panel said that revelations made in the article find resonance with the initial findings of the panel with respect to “misinformation” spread by Facebook.

Mr. Chadha said, “These practices adopted by Facebook are in no manner condonable and have direct adverse effect on the sanctity of free and fair elections in our country. If not deterred timely, it will be an assault on the pristine democracy of our country and may cause unfathomable damage.”

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