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IT Parliamentary Committee calls on Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram reps to meet next month

The Indian Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology has called on Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram representatives to discuss the safeguarding of citizens’ rights on online platforms, reports Business Standard. This meeting will be held on 6 March, and according to the report, the committee prefers if the companies’ executives met them.

The committee has also called for public comments on this matter which can be submitted at “comit@sansad.nic.in”.

Twitter and the Parliamentary Committee

Meanwhile, Twitter’s Global Vice President of Public Policy, Colin Crowell, will meet the same committee next week, after being pulled up earlier this month. This meeting with Twitter was called a day after there were protests outside Twitter India’s office accusing the platform of being ‘biased against the right-wing.’ While the committee expected CEO Jack Dorsey, Twitter said that the notice was too short for Dorsey to travel to India.

In November, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s visit to India became controversial after several prominent activists, including TV Mohandas Pai, accused Dorsey of “hate-mongering against Brahmins” and equated the placard to one about “anti-Semitic messages.” Dorsey later moved the Rajasthan High Court after an FIR was registered against him for defamation, creating hatred between religions/communities, and insulting religious beliefs.

Facebook and global regulation

Earlier this week, UK lawmakers said that Facebook was violating privacy and competition laws, and singled out CEO Mark Zuckerberg, stating that he showed “contempt” towards the UK Parliament by not appearing before it. These were in a report published by the UK Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee which accessed internal emails and documents obtained as a result of a lawsuit filed by ‘Six4Three’ against Facebook. (See more here, also a list of Facebook’s recent global regulation cases here.)

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