Hafta 290: Facebook’s influence and control, Wall Street Journal on Ankhi Das, and Gunjan Saxena


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This week on NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, and Mehraj D Lone are joined by Pratik Sinha, founder of Alt News.

First up, the panel discusses the Wall Street Journal report on political partisanship within Facebook India. The panelists talk about Facebook’s “special relationship” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, how news dissemination has changed over the past decade, and whether social media should be considered a public service.

Manisha reflects on Facebook’s influence on international affairs and its responsibility in ensuring impartiality in non-Western countries. “We need to judge them for at least the façade of the global company they portray themselves to be,” she says.

In the context of Australia ordering social media sites to share news advertising revenue with traditional media organisations, Pratik notes that Facebook has “overarching control over internet infrastructure...and very little transparency and accountability”. He highlights the need for independent media organisations to come together to reduce their dependence on Facebook and Google.

The conversation also spans new developments in the investigation into actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, lawyer Prashant Bhushan’s “ridiculous” sentencing hearing for being ruled guilty of contempt of court, and the controversy surrounding the release of Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl.

All this and more, only on this week’s NL Hafta. Tune in!


0:00: Headlines

08:46: Facebook being a platform for hate in India

39:01: Subscriber letters, rumours around SSR’s death, transparency at Newslaundry, liberalism in Islam, secularism

01:18:22: Prashant Bhushan and the Supreme Court

01:22:27: Gunjan Saxena and the IAF's reaction

01:30:11: On making Bengaluru rioters pay for damage

01:33:01: Subscriber letters

01:44:17: Recommendations



To read up on surveillance capitalism


Kamala Harris Tells Big Lie: That 2012 Mortgage Settlement Was a Good Deal for Homeowners


Where are those 'toxic Bihari families' being blamed for reactions to Sushant Rajput's death?


How The Pandemic Is Making The Gender Pay Gap Worse

How Facebook Is Failing Myanmar Again | Time

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