Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday spoke in the Parliament and expressed her concern about social media platforms interfering with the electoral process in India. She claimed that social media is being increasingly used to shape political narratives. Gandhi urged the Indian government to act to eliminate the influence of social media giants in India.
She further said that social media platforms are being used to “hack our democracy.” Sonia Gandhi said in the Parliament, “Thank you for allowing me to take up an issue of paramount importance – the rising danger of social media being abused to hack our democracy. Global companies like Facebook and Twitter are used increasingly to shape political narratives by leaders, parties and their proxies.” The Congress president was speaking during the Zero Hour in Lok Sabha.
She accused Facebook of conniving with the ruling establishment (Modi government) to provide undue advantage to the latter in electoral politics. She stated, “It has repeatedly come to public notice that global social media companies aren’t providing a level playing field to all parties. The blatant manner in which social harmony is being disturbed by Facebook with the connivance of the ruling establishment is dangerous for our democracy.”
She further said, “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.”
Sonia Gandhi appealed to the Indian government to act upon the issue. She said, “I urge Government to put an end to the systematic influence and interference of Facebook and other social media giants in the electoral politics of the world’s largest democracy. This is beyond parties and politics.”