Facebook India's controversial public policy head Ankhi Das quits

This comes after she was in the eye of a storm over allegedly interfering in the implementation of Facebook’s hate speech policies.
Ankhi Das and Mark Zuckerberg
Ankhi Das and Mark Zuckerberg
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Ankhi Das, the head of Facebook’s public policy in India, South Asia and Central Asia, stepped down from her role on Tuesday. This comes after she was in the eye of a storm over allegedly not implementing hate speech policies for politicians belonging to the ruling party at her behest over hurting the company’s business prospects.

These allegations, made in an article by the Wall Street Journal, were denied by the company, and it has reportedly said that her departure is not related the reports in the press.

In a statement, Facebook India Ajit Mohan said Ankhi was leaving Facebook to pursue her interest in public service.

“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 9 years. She has been a part of my leadership team over the last 2 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,” he said in a statement. 

Ankhi appeared on behalf of Facebook in front of the joint parliamentary committee on the issue of data security just last week. She was questioned for two hours and according to PTI, was asked some tough and searching questions by the panel members from across the political spectrum. India is the biggest market for Facebook in terms of its users. During the meeting, a member reportedly suggested that the social media platform should not draw inferences from the data of its users for commercial benefit of its advertisers or for electoral purposes, they said.

During the meeting, concerns were also reportedly raised about allegations that majority of Facebook employees in the United States were inclined towards one specific political party of the country.

According to TechCrunch, in a message to her colleagues, Ankhi wrote, “There is an enormous amount I have learnt from incredibly smart and talented people in the company, particularly from people on the policy team. This is a special company and a special group of people. Thank you, Mark for creating something beautiful for the world. I hope I have served you and the company well. I know we will be in touch on Facebook,” she added.

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