wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

IT Standing Committee summons Facebook reps for hearing on September 2

Parliament House

Facebook representatives have been summoned by the Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology, per an agenda notice issued on Thursday. The hearing, scheduled for September 2, comes in light of allegations that Facebook refused to take down hateful content by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members, fearing harm to its commercial interests in India.

Headed by veteran Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, the Committee will hear from Facebook representatives on the subject: “Safeguarding citizens’ rights and prevention of misuse of social/online news media platforms including special emphasis on women security in the digital space”. Later in the day, the Committee will hear oral evidence on the subject from representatives of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY).

The Wall Street Journal had reported that Facebook India’s public policy team, headed by Ankhi Das, had refused to take down posts by T Raja Singh, a BJP MLA from Telangana, although they were flagged as “hate speech”. Das reportedly opposed applying hate-speech rules to posts by Singh and other other “Hindu nationalist individuals” as punishing violations by leaders from the BJP would damage Facebook’s business prospects in India.

The report suggested that Facebook might be taking into account political considerations when applying hate-speech rules to prominent Hindu nationalists in India.

The ruling BJP and opposition Congress have been involved in a political tussle, over Tharoor’s initial announcement that the Committee would convene a meeting to hear Facebook’s alleged misconduct. Congress party wrote to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, asking for an probe into the company’s India leadership. However, BJP member Nishikanth Dubey accused Tharoor of not taking members of the Committee into confidence before making his announcement. He wrote on Twitter that only the chairman of the Committee did not have the “authority to do anything without discussion of the agenda with its member (sic)”. Subsequently, both Tharoor and Dubey gave notices of breach of privilege against each other to Speaker Om Birla. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, another BJP member, has also written to Birla to complain against Tharoor.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Thamizhachi Thangapandian, a Dravida Munnetra Kazagham MP and a member of the IT Committee, hoped that the Committee would be able to have a “healthy discussion”. Speaking to MediaNama, she said, “We have every right to question Facebook. Of course, we are an ally of Congress and will support them. But, crossing party lines, any individual with a sense of logic and reasoning should question the double standards of Facebook, which follows one set of rules in America and another in India” she added.

Committee to also hear on suspension of internet in country

On September 1, the Committee will hear from representatives of the Home Ministry and Ministry of Communications on internet shutdowns in Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir, and Delhi. Later in the day, they will hear from News Broadcasters Association, Press Council of India,  Prasar Bharati and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on “Ethical Standards in Media Coverage”.

Read more:

  1. Facebook accused of selective enforcement of hate-speech content
  2. TMC MP Mahua Moitra demands answers from Facebook
  3. Facebook India leadership faces questions from leadership

Written By

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

Views

News

The DSCI's guidelines are patient-centric and act as a data privacy roadmap for healthcare service providers.

News

In this excerpt from the book, the authors focus on personal data and autocracies. One in particular – Russia.  Autocracies always prioritize information control...

News

By Jai Vipra, Senior Resident Fellow at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy The use of new technology, including facial recognition technology (FRT) by police...

News

By Stella Joseph, Prakhil Mishra, and Yash Desai The Government of India circulated proposed amendments to the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020 (“E-Commerce Rules”) which...

News

By Rahul Rai and Shruti Aji Murali A little less than a year since their release, the Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020 is being amended....

You May Also Like

News

Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

News

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

Advert

135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...

News

Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Name:*
Your email address:*
*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ