Facebook’s India head of public policy Ankhi Das quits after Hate speech controversy



Ankhi Das, the controversial India policy head of Facebook who allegedly opposed blocking right-wing hate content, has quit the company.

“Ankhi has decided to step down from her role in 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,” Facebook’s Managing Director India Ajit Mohan said in an e-mailed statement.

Das faced allegations of opposing enforcement of hate-speech rules against BJP and other right-wing leaders. She was also accused of posting messages to support the BJP for several years on a Facebook group of the company’s employees.

Her resignation came about two-and-a-half-months after she first shot into the limelight because of the allegations.

Over 40 human rights and internet watchdog organisations had called on Facebook to place Das on leave until the company finishes ongoing auditing its India operations.

Das had joined Facebook in 2011. On her departure, Das said she had decided to step down from Facebook “to pursue my personal interest in public service”.

“When I joined Facebook in 2011, internet growth in the country was woefully low and I often wondered how social and economic asymmetries will be addressed. We were a small unlisted startup back then, guided only by our mission and purpose to connect people in India. After nine long years, I feel that mission has largely been met,” she said.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that Ankhi Das had trained the BJP for its social media campaign for the 2012 Assembly polls. After the training, she wrote: ‘Success in our Gujarat Campaign’.