Facebook asks Delhi Assembly panel to withdraw summon over 'hate speech row', draws flak from members
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Terming it not just a ‘contempt of Assembly but an insult to the Delhiites’, a Delhi Assembly panel on Tuesday decided to issue a final notice to Facebook after no representative of the social media giant appeared before the committee that is hearing allegations against the company and has summoned its Managing Director.
During proceedings, Peace and Harmony Committee Chairman and AAP MLA Raghav Chadha said non-appearance of any Facebook representative before the panel was not only "contempt" of Assembly, but also an "insult" of the 2 crore people of Delhi.
Raghav Chadha also said that the non-appearance of Facebook means that the company is hiding its role in the Delhi riots.
“Facebook's letter is in disregard of the committee's privilege. Facebook's refusal to appear before the committee is an attempt to conceal crucial facts in relation to its role in the Delhi riots. The fresh summons will be issued to it in line with principles of natural justice," Chadha said as reported by ANI.
"As per the principle of natural justice, we should give the last chance to Facebook vice president and managing director to appear before the committee. Still, if he does not come, the committee will not desist from using all its powers including coercive steps," he added.
The decision of the Delhi Assembly panel came after Facebook asked the panel to withdraw the summon instead of appearing before it citing the regulation of such intermediaries within the exclusive authority of Government of India.
“We had summoned Facebook India VP & MD Ajit Mohan over its role in the Delhi riots. In reply, Facebook has asked to withdraw summon as 'regulation of intermediaries like Facebook falls within the exclusive authority of GOI”, Raghav Chadha said.
The panel had issued a notice to Facebook India vice president and managing director Ajit Mohan last week, asking him to appear before it on September 15 in connection with complaints about the social media giant's alleged deliberate inaction to curb hateful content in the country.
The hearing by the assembly panel follows a Wall Street Journal report that claimed that one of Facebook's senior India policy executives intervened in internal communication to stop a permanent ban on a BJP lawmaker from Telangana after he allegedly shared communally-charged posts.
Last month, Facebook had said its social media platform prohibits hate speech and content that incites violence, and these policies were enforced globally without regard to political affiliation.
"While we know there is more to do, we're making progress on enforcement and conduct regular audits of our process to ensure fairness and accuracy," a Facebook spokesperson had said.
(With ANI Inputs)
Posted By: Talib Khan