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Facebook Names Hotstar CEO Ajit Mohan as its New India Head

He is a graduate of the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

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Facebook testing 'LOL' app to woo kids, experts wary. Pixabay

In a bid to consolidate its presence in India amid calls to curb fake news and other sinister campaigns on social media platforms, Facebook on Monday announced to appoint Ajit Mohan, CEO of popular video streaming platform Hotstar, as Managing Director and Vice-President, Facebook India.

Set to begin his Facebook innings early next year, Mohan will be responsible for driving Facebook’s overall strategy and continued investment in India where it has over 270 million users — reporting directly to the Menlo Park (California)-based headquarter and not to the Asia Pacific team.

“Ajit’s depth of experience will help us to continue to have a positive impact in India across communities, organisations, businesses and with policy makers,” David Fischer, Vice-President of Business and Marketing Partnerships, Facebook Inc, said in a statement.

The post was lying vacant for almost a year when Umang Bedi resigned as Facebook India Managing Director in October last year. Bedi is now President of Dailyhunt, a local language news and entertainment aggregator.

Ajit will lead a senior leadership team in the country to intensify the company’s efforts to help people in India connect with the people and things they care about the most.

The job comes with a huge responsibility as a time when India is set for general elections next year and the government has taken a harsh stand on not allowing social media platforms to abuse India’s election process amid calls from various stakeholders for stringent measures backed by laws on data protection and individual privacy.

Facebook-Head
Ajit Mohan.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has also launched a preliminary enquiry against the British political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica for alleged illegal harvesting of personal data of Indians from Facebook.

“I am delighted to take on the mantle of shaping Facebook’s charter in India. It is a unique opportunity to shape the agenda of a company that has brought the world closer together in one of the most exciting markets in the world,” said Mohan.

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An alumnus of McKinsey and Company’s New York office where he worked with media companies around the globe, Mohan launched and built Hotstar, Star India’s over-the-top (OTT) service, into India’s leading premium video streaming platform.

He is a graduate of the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

“I look forward to championing India in Facebook and working with stakeholders across the spectrum to help build deep and meaningful communities across the country,” said Mohan. (IANS)

Next Story

New Zealand, France Plan in Effort to Stop Promotion of Terrorism, Violent Extremism on Social Media

A lone gunman killed 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch on March 15, while livestreaming the massacre on Facebook

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FILE - The Facebook logo is seen on a shop window in Malaga, Spain, June 4, 2018. (VOA)

In the wake of the Christchurch attack, New Zealand said on Wednesday that it would work with France in an effort to stop social media from being used to promote terrorism and violent extremism.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a statement that she will co-chair a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on May 15 that will seek to have world leaders and CEOs of tech companies agree to a pledge, called the Christchurch Call, to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.

A lone gunman killed 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch on March 15, while livestreaming the massacre on Facebook.

Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, has been charged with 50 counts of murder for the mass shooting.

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Students light candles as they gather for a vigil to commemorate victims of Friday’s shooting, outside the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 18, 2019. (VOA)

“It’s critical that technology platforms like Facebook are not perverted as a tool for terrorism, and instead become part of a global solution to countering extremism,” Ardern said in the statement.

“This meeting presents an opportunity for an act of unity between governments and the tech companies,” she added.

The meeting will be held alongside the Tech for Humanity meeting of G7 digital ministers, of which France is the chair, and France’s separate Tech for Good summit, both on 15 May, the statement said.

Ardern said at a press conference later on Wednesday that she has spoken with executives from a number of tech firms including Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Google and few other companies.

“The response I’ve received has been positive. No tech company, just like no government, would like to see violent extremism and terrorism online,” Ardern said at the media briefing, adding that she had also spoken with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg directly on the topic.

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Facebook, the world’s largest social network with 2.7 billion users, has faced criticism since the Christchurch attack that it failed to tackle extremism. VOA

A Facebook spokesman said the company looks forward to collaborating with government, industry and safety experts on a clear framework of rules.

“We’re evaluating how we can best support this effort and who among top Facebook executives will attend,” the spokesman said in a statement sent by email. Facebook, the world’s largest social network with 2.7 billion users, has faced criticism since the Christchurch attack that it failed to tackle extremism.

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One of the main groups representing Muslims in France has said it was suing Facebook and YouTube, a unit of Alphabet’s Google, accusing them of inciting violence by allowing the streaming of the Christchurch massacre on their platforms.

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said last month that the company was looking to place restrictions on who can go live on its platform based on certain criteria. (VOA)