Facebook India policy head Ankhi Das quits after hate-speech row

Siddhant Pandey
·2-min read


Facebook India policy head Ankhi Das quits after hate-speech row
Facebook India policy head Ankhi Das quits after hate-speech row

27 Oct 2020: Facebook India policy head Ankhi Das quits after hate-speech row

On Tuesday, Ankhi Das stepped down as the head of Facebook's public policy in India, South Asia, and Central Asia.

The development comes over two months after Das' name had emerged in a controversy over allegedly not implementing hate-speech policies for politicians belonging to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Centre over hurting the company's business prospects.

Here are more details.

Statement: Ankhi has decided to step down, announced Facebook India VP

Facebook India Vice President and Managing Director Ajit Mohan announced Das' departure.

"Ankhi has decided to step down from her role... to pursue her interest in public service," Mohan said in a statement.

He added, "Ankhi was one of our earliest employees in India and played an instrumental role in the growth of the company and its services over the last nine years."

Fact: 'We are grateful for her service,' says Mohan

Mohan further said, "She has been a part of my leadership team over the last two years, a role in which she has made enormous contributions. We are grateful for her service and wish her the very best for the future."

Controversy: Facebook, WhatsApp allegedly overlooked hate-speech by BJP members

Earlier in August, WSJ and TIME had reported that Facebook and WhatsApp, the messaging app owned by the social networking site, did not apply hate-speech rules to posts by BJP members.

An executive, later identified as Das, was quoted as saying by WSJ that punishing hate-speech violations by members of the BJP "would damage (its) business prospects."

Facebook has denied the allegations.

Fact: Resignation comes days after Das was questioned by Parliamentary panel

Just last week, Das had appeared before the joint Parliamentary committee on the issue of data security. She was questioned for two hours by panel members from across the political spectrum. People close to Das told TechCrunch that her departure was unrelated to the controversy.

Quote: Learnt an enormous amount working at Facebook: Das

According to TechCrunch, Das said in a message to her colleagues, "There is an enormous amount I have learnt from incredibly smart and talented people in the company, particularly from people on the policy team."

She added, "Thank you, Mark, for creating something beautiful for the world. I hope I've served you and the company well. I know we'll be in touch on Facebook."