Facebook India on August 21 said that it is an "open, transparent and non-partisan platform" which denounces hate and bigotry in any form. The social media giant's India head Ajit Mohan said that the company will remove content even from Indian public representatives if they violate the company's "community standards" as there is "no place for hate speech" on it.
The clarification came amid a row over how Facebook regulates political content, after a report by The Wall Street Journal claimed that the company chose to ignore hate speech made by Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leaders on its platform.
The report alleged that Facebook India's head of public policy, Ankhi Das, "opposed applying hate-speech rules" to at least four individuals and groups linked with the BJP even though they were "flagged internally for promoting or participating in violence".
In a statement, Mohan said that the company has taken these allegations "incredibly seriously". "First and foremost, we want to make it clear that we denounce hate in any form," he said.
"Our Community Standards, which outline what is and isn't allowed on Facebook, have clear and very detailed policies against hate speech, which prohibit attacks on people on the basis of protected characteristics, including religion, ethnicity, caste and national origin," Mohan added.
Mohan said that individuals who are "dangerous" under Facebook's policies are eliminated from its services, and "praise, support and representation of them is taken down, as well".
The statement read: "decisions around content escalations are not made unilaterally by just one person, but are inclusive of views from different teams and disciplines within the company. The process comes with robust checks and balances built in to ensure that the policies are implemented as they are intended to be and take into consideration applicable local laws."