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Facebook didn’t take down fake accounts linked to BJP ahead of elections, whistleblower claims

In an AMA, Sophie Zhang recalled flagging fake account networks linked to Indian political parties but only one got off scot-free.

"IT cells are so ingrained by now in Indian politics, that I would be surprised if there were no interference by fake accounts in an Indian election," Facebook whistleblower Sophie Zhang said in a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) on November 6. As an employee at Facebook, Zhang claims to have found five networks of fake accounts linked to the Aam Aadmi Party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, and the Indian National Congress. While four of the networks were taken down, no action was taken on the fifth network linked to a sitting BJP MP, Zhang claims. She first went public with this information in April this year. Facebook has a history of inaction on content moderation when it comes to powerful political figures in India. Such failures  raise serious questions about the threats the platform poses to election integrity in India. Everything Zhang revealed about Facebook India in the AMA No action on BJP MP-linked networks: Ahead of the Delhi elections, Zhang flagged multiple networks of fake accounts. While accounts linked to AAP and INC were taken down after several nudges, the network linked to the BJP was never taken down, Zhang claims: January 28, 2020: I discuss the problem in Delhi with an India public policy manager, who agrees that it's important and should be taken down ASAP. I also request to them that a decision be made on the BJP MP network, which is ignored. — Sophie Zhang Size of the fake account networks: Roughly 1000 fake accounts…

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