A Delhi Assembly panel on peace and harmony said on Monday that it will summon Facebook officials over complaints about the social media platform's alleged "deliberate and intentional inaction to contain hateful content" in India. The development comes in the backdrop of a report published in the Wall Street Journal on Friday, citing interviews with unnamed Facebook insiders to claim that one of its senior India policy executives intervened in internal communication to stop a permanent ban on a BJP MLA from Telangana after he allegedly made communally charged posts.
An official statement by the Delhi Assembly committee stated that after careful deliberation on allegations levelled in the complaints received, the panel, chaired by AAP MLA Raghav Chadha, has decided to take immediate cognisance of this issue. "In view thereof it compels the committee to take immediate notice and get to the root of this issue with a view to painstakingly discern if there is any role or complicity of Facebook official in the orchestration of Delhi riots," it stated.
"Summons are set to be sent for appearance of the officials concerned of Facebook and more importantly, Ankhi Das, in due course to ensure their presence before the committee for participating in the relevant proceedings and the committee shall convene its meeting this week to initiate the proceedings forthwith," the statement said. Das is Facebook's Director, Public Policy, India, South and Central Asia.
Meanwhile, Facebook on Monday said its social media platform prohibits hate speech and content that incites violence and these policies are enforced globally without regard to political affiliation. "We prohibit hate speech and content that incites violence and we enforce these policies globally without regard to anyone's political position or party 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 said.