New Delhi (Sputnik): Owner of Indian tech giant Mahindra Group Anand Mahindra tweeted on Tuesday that he would like to fund an Indian start-up to rival the social media giant Facebook. The offer comes in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal that shook Facebook last week. In his open offer, Mahindra wondered if the time was right to build an alternative social networking platform based in India.
Beginning to wonder if it’s time to consider having our own social networking company that is very widely owned&professionally managed&willingly regulated.Any relevant Indian start-ups out there?If any young teams have such plans I’d like to see if I can assist with seed capital pic.twitter.com/nBSkQk0hCp— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) March 26, 2018
The noted industrialist, known for his philanthropy and support to startups, has promised seed capital to an Indian start-up that can professionally manage an Indian version of Facebook.
Mark Zuckerberg-owned Facebook has been accused of breaching the privacy of fifty million users by sharing their details with British data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica. There were also reports that the firm used the data to allegedly manipulate the US elections. The scandal also hit the Indian social and political realm, with two of the biggest political parties — the ruling BJP and the Congress — accusing each other of having covert links with Cambridge Analytica.
There have been strong calls from activists for the ban on Facebook and other social media platforms, especially in government offices or other establishments dealing with sensitive data, citing the example of Singapore.
FACEBOOK SCANDAL: I have spoken many times that GOI leaders using gmail, Facebook, Twitter, etc is a national security threat. Why have GOI and/or Indian industry not implemented India's own internet the way China has done— Rajiv Malhotra (@RajivMessage) 23 марта 2018 г.
Furthermore, India's minister for information and technology (IT) has threatened to take stringent action against Facebook if the allegations are found to be correct.
We welcome the fact that @facebook has one of the highest number of users from India but if any theft of data of Indians takes place in collusion with other companies for manipulation of democratic processes then that will not be tolerated. #FacebookDataBreach pic.twitter.com/OBdv2vN7Ho— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) March 21, 2018
However, a photograph of the IT minister with an official of Facebook has gone viral, evoking a strong response from the media and the public.
Did you know for rolling out #Facebook's Secret Unit that created India’s Troll Armies for digital propaganda to influence elections a meeting was arranged between Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook with none other than Ravi Shankar Prasad in Delhi? https://t.co/oGKFLZY40x pic.twitter.com/lNWSsAwjdf— GreatGameIndia (@GreatGameIndia) 21 марта 2018 г.
In India, Facebook helped Modi, who now has more Facebook followers than any other world leader, win. In the Philippines, Facebook aids Duterte, known for encouraging extrajudicial killings. And in Germany, Facebook helped anti-immigrant party AfD win its first Bundestag seats. https://t.co/KjgRfKD9Tn— Adam Khan (@Khanoisseur) 26 марта 2018 г.