Facebook Hires New India Head in Midst of Fake News Controversy

Facebook has hired Ajit Mohan of the Indian streaming service Hotstar to run its India division, in the midst of accusations from the Indian government that the company’s WhatsApp messaging service has helped trigger mob violence.

Mohan has been CEO of Hotstar since 2016, according to his LinkedIn.

Mohan’s appointment comes during a period of intense criticism from the Indian government towards the social media giant. False messages about child kidnappers circulated anonymously on WhatsApp have triggered violent mobs that beat and killed bystanders suspected of being involved in crimes several times during the past year.

The Indian government has warned Facebook it will treat the company as a legal abettor to violence if it does not develop tools to better combat the spread of false information.

Facebook has expanded into streaming sports in India, and Mohan oversaw the wildly popular streaming of Indian Premier League cricket on Hotstar. Facebook has the rights to stream matches from the Spanish La Liga soccer division in the country for the next three seasons.

 


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