The Delhi Assembly’s Committee on Peace and Harmony has issued a notice to Facebook India Vice-President and Managing Director (MD) Ajit Mohan in connection with the alleged “intentional omission and deliberate inaction on the part of social media platform” with respect to hate speeches.The Committee has summoned Mohan to appear before it on September 15 in the Delhi Legislative Assembly. The Committee headed by AAP MLA Raghav Chadha said it has received numerous complaints against Facebook regarding “intentional omission and deliberate inaction on the part of the social media platform to apply hate speech rules and policies which has allegedly led to serious repercussions and disruption of peace and harmony across the NCT of Delhi.”
It further added that some complainants have also cited the report published in The Wall Street Journal in August, which questioned the social media platform’s role in curbing political hate speeches on its platform.“The Committee calls you as a witness for testifying on oath and for rendering your assistance by providing the relevant information and explanations in order to smoothly expedite the determination of the veracity of allegations levelled against Facebook in the complaints and depositions made before the committee,” the letter sent by Delhi Assembly’s deputy secretary read.
Earlier, Mohan in response to the summon by Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology had said that Facebook has always been an open, transparent and non-partisan platform which enables people to express themselves freely and added that it “denounces hate in any form” with its community standards having clear and detailed policies against hate speech, prohibiting attack on people on the basis of religion, ethnicity, caste, and national origin.The Parliamentary Standing Committee had summoned Facebook India representatives on September 2 to hear their views on the prevention of misuse of social media platforms.
Earlier, the Congress party had raised the issue of bias between Facebook and WhatsApp executives towards the BJP.On the basis of a report published in an American newspaper, the Wall Street Journal, Rahul Gandhi had alleged that Facebook and WhatsApp are controlled by BJP and RSS in India. Describing the matter as shocking, the Congress has demanded the formation of a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) to investigate it.