Facebook’s Director of Public Policy for India Ankhi Das resigns
Facebook’s director of public policy for India, South and Central Asia, Ankhi Das, resigned to pursue public service interests, the company said in a statement Tuesday.
Earlier this month, Sunil Abraham was appointed by the social media giant as director of public policy for data and emerging technology.
Facebook India Vice President and CEO Ajit Mohan said in a statement: “Ankhi has decided to leave his position at Facebook to pursue his interest in public service. Ankhi was one of our first employees in India and played a critical role in the growth of the company and its services over the past 9 years. She has been a part of my leadership team for the past 2 years, a role in which she has made tremendous contributions. We are grateful for his service and wish him the best for the future. ”
The resignation comes weeks after Facebook and Das faced questions internally from employees on how political content is regulated in its largest market, India.
Facebook is battling a political and public relations crisis in India after the Wall Street Journal reported that Das objected to applying the company’s hate speech rules to a politician from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party who in posts called Muslim traitors.
In the United States and around the world, Facebook employees are raising questions about whether the India team was following proper procedures and content regulation practices, sources familiar with the discussions told Reuters. An open letter written to Facebook’s leadership by 11 employees on an internal platform, and seen by Reuters, demands that company leaders recognize and denounce “anti-Muslim bigotry” and ensure greater policy coherence.
The letter also required that “Facebook’s policy team in India (and elsewhere) include a diverse representation.” “It’s hard not to be frustrated and saddened by the reported incidents … We know we are not alone in this. Employees across the company are expressing similar sentiments,” the letter says. “The Muslim community on Facebook would like to hear from Facebook leaders about our requests.”
Facebook has come under fire in recent years for its lax approach to fake news content, state-backed disinformation campaigns, and violent content spread through its platforms.