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Key takeaways from Delhi’s Peace & Harmony Committee hearing: ‘Facebook complicit in Delhi riots, chargesheet should be filed’

The Delhi State Assembly's Peace and Harmony Committee on Monday said it has found prima facie found Facebook guilty of aggravating the Delhi riots in February. Committee chair and AAP MLA Raghav Chadha said Facebook representatives would be summoned to present their version in the next hearing. Chadha also said that an independent investigation is needed, and suggested that a supplemental chargesheet be filed against Facebook in ongoing cases related to the riots.  The Committee held its second hearing on the allegations of political bias against Facebook on Monday, looking at how non-enforcement of community standards could have played a role in the Delhi violence. Constituted in March 2020, the Committee took up the matter after the Wall Street Journal reported last month that Facebook had refused to take down hate speech posted by leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. Senior Facebook executives, including Ankhi Das, the company's head of public policy in India, were accused of exhibiting bias in favour of the BJP. The Committee's first ever hearing was held last week, in which it had summoned two expert witnesses — journalists Paranjoy Guha Thakurta and Nikhil Pahwa. Disclosure: Nikhil Pahwa is the founder and editor of MediaNama. As a result, he was not involved in the process of reporting or editing this article.  Three witnesses were called to depose on Monday, all of them journalists. They were Awesh Tiwari, a Chhattisgarh-based journalist with Swaraj Express and independent journalists Kunal Purohit and Subhash Gatade. Tiwari had been in…

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