Facebook Denies Allegation of Physical Verification of Indian Users for Posting Political Content

The company said it requires only an off-platform check for those who wish to run political ads.

Amidst proving its transparency to the entire world, Facebook has now been accused of physical verification of Indian users for posting political content. According to Indo-Asia News Service (IANS), a Facebook user in Delhi, India was visited by a Facebook representative for the verification of Process related to the content the user had posted political content on its Facebook account. The alleged Facebook representative asked Aadhaar Card to the user along with other documents to understand if he was the one who posted the political content.

The person did not reveal his to INAS but gave his brief on the issue. “It was like cops coming to your door for passport verification. The Facebook representative asked me to prove my credentials by asking for my Aadhaar card and other documents to understand if I am the one who had posted the political content,” said the Facebook user. Furthermore, he added saying, “It was a shocker for me. How come a social media platform does that to a user? What about a user’s privacy? I have never heard of any such incident anywhere. Was this at the behest of the government?”

However, Facebook had denied these allegations. A spokesperson from the company commented on this saying, “Facebook does not conduct any form of physical verification in India, except for an advertiser who plans to run ads related to politics or issues of national importance in India.” Furthermore, the company stated that it requires off-platform checks only for those who want to run political ads. Facebook has a substantial presence in India, a platform that also owns WhatsApp. The company says it has taken the necessary initiative to stop fake news spreading; however, such ‘personal verifications’ surely create doubt in an individual’s mind.