Facebook employees are taking the company to task over its political moderation practices following a recent controversy in India. The company’s top lobbying executive in the country, Ankhi Das, caused a public relations fiasco for the social media platform after she insisted that the company’s hate speech not be applied to comments from an Indian politician.

The comments, made by T. Raja Singh, a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Jana Party, called the country’s Muslim population “traitors.”

Reuters obtained a piece of internal communication in which 11 Facebook employees called on the company’s leadership, in the form of an open letter, to strive for more consistency in its hate speech moderation and to fight back against “anti-Muslim bigotry.” With regard to the situation at Facebook India, the employees also called for greater diversity on the policy team operating there.

“It is hard not to feel frustrated and saddened by the incidents reported… We know we’re not alone in this. Employees across the company are expressing similar sentiment,” the letter read. “The Muslim community at Facebook would like to hear from Facebook leadership on our asks.”

Neither Facebook nor Das responded to Reuters’ request for comment on the letter. In an earlier Wall Street Journal report, it was said that Das argued that enforcing such rules against members of Modi’s party might hurt Facebook’s business prospects in India.

“While we know there is more to do, we’re making progress on enforcement and conduct regular audits,” Facebook said in response to the Journal's article, insisting that it take action against any content that incites violence with no regard for political affiliation.

Das on Monday filed a police report in New Delhi asking arrests to be made in connection with six Facebook and Twitter accounts that sent her death threats.

Facebook has faced consistent criticism recently over its handling of conservative entities that violate the platform’s policies.

Despite assertions from certain right-wing figures that social media platforms are biased against conservatives, reports indicate that Facebook has actually taken steps to prevent them from being punished for sharing lies and misinformation. Joel Kaplan, the company’s vice president of global public policy, has reportedly intervened in situations in order to help conservative organizations like Breitbart News and PragerU avoid policy enforcement.

India is Facebook's biggest global market in terms of users India is Facebook's biggest global market in terms of users Photo: AFP / Olivier DOULIERY