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Facebook Used by Anarchic and Radical Groups: Union Minister

Amid the ongoing controversy alleging Facebook executives were biased with the ruling BJP, union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad wrote a letter to the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg alleging that the employees of Facebook are on record abusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior cabinet ministers while working in Facebook India and managing important positions. 

Mr. Prasad went on to add “I would like to point out that there have also been multiple instances recently where Facebook has been used by anarchic & radical elements whose sole aim is to destroy social order, to recruit people and to assemble them for violence. However, we are yet to see any meaningful action against such elements,”.

The IT minister mentioned about the information regarding the concerted effort by the Facebook India management to delete pages or reduce their reach and did not offer any recourse or right to appeal for the affected people who were in support of the right-of-center ideology”. 

“As a transnational digital platform, Facebook must not only be fair and neutral but also visibly seen to be so, to users of diverse beliefs and ideologies. Individuals working in any organization may have their individual likes or dislikes, but that must not have any bearing on the public policies and performance of the organization,”. “After having lost all democratic legitimacy, they are trying to discredit India’s democratic process by dominating the decision-making apparatus of important social media platforms. Facebook is the latest tool in their arsenal to stoke internal divisions and social disturbances,” Ravi Shankar Prasad mentioned in the letter.

The recent allegations add fuel to the already raging political row over US media articles suggesting Facebook’s bias dealing with posts from members of the BJP and the rightwing.

A recent report published in the Wall Street Journal alleged that the social networking site did not apply any hate speech rules on members of the ruling party and in a second report by WSJ made key allegations on Ankhi Das, head of public policy in Facebook India stating that she made internal postings over several years showcasing her support for the ruling BJP.

Mr. Prasad urged the CEO to bring country-specific community guidelines, and stated deep entrenched vested interests aren’t satisfied with the shrinking space of one side of the spectrum in India and wants to throttle it completely.” 

To get a detailed response on the reports Facebook officials are asked to appear before the parliamentary committee tomorrow that is headed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.

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Nokia 5.3, Nokia C3, Nokia 125 and 150 Launched in India

Nokia on Tuesday launched the new Nokia 5.3, Nokia C3, Nokia 125 and Nokia 150 in India.

Nokia 5.3 and C3 are smartphones, while the Nokia 125 and 150 are feature phones. The latest lineup of devices is targeted at their existing consumer base as well as a new set of users.

Out of the four devices, Nokia 5.3 and C3 are mid-range smartphones, the Nokia 5.3 comes with the 6.55-inch, 720p HD display, Snapdragon 665, a quad-camera setup with 13MP main sensor, a 5MP ultra-wide lens, and a 2MP depth sensor with a macro lens. On the front, we have the 8MP camera with a waterdrop notch. Having a battery capacity of 4,000mAh the phone features a USB-C port, rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, and comes with a dedicated Google Assistant button.

When it comes to the memory space the phone comes with 4 and 6GB RAM. The device comes preinstalled with Android 10 and will offer guaranteed two years of operating system updates and will be available from September 1 with a price tag of Rs 13,999 for the base model. 

The Nokia C3 on the other hand is an entry-level Android smartphone sporting a 5.99-inch HD+ display and an octa-core processor. The Nokia C3 comes with 2GB RAM and 3GB RAM options with the internal storage at 16GB and 32GB and comes with a 3000mAh battery. The Nokia C3 retails at Rs 7,499 starting September 17.

Apart from smartphones, the company has also launched updated versions of its affordable feature phones the Nokia 125 and Nokia 150. Features wise both the phones come with a 2.4-inch QVGA screen, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and a wireless FM radio receiver. Set to utilize the series 30+ platform, Nokia 125 starts at Rs 1999, and the Nokia 150 starts at Rs 2299. The feature phones will be available to buy from today in the market.