Facebook skips Delhi Assembly panel hearing over alleged hate speeches

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Facebook skips Delhi Assembly panel hearing over alleged hate speeches

Skipping the hearing of the Delhi Assembly’s ‘Peace and Harmony’ committee, Facebook on Tuesday asked the assembly to withdraw a summon notice on alleged inaction in hate speech cases. The social media giant said it has already appeared before a parliamentary panel and the subject comes under the centre. The Delhi panel, stung by the response, said it would deliver “a final warning” to the social networking giant over the no-show.

In its response to the Delhi Assembly, Facebook said, “The regulation of intermediaries like Facebook fall within the exclusive authority of the Union of India. Given that the matters are under consideration by Parliament, we object to the Notice and request you recall it.”

A notice was earlier issued to Facebook India Vice President and Managing Director Ajit Mohan, by the Delhi Assembly committee on peace and harmony. The committee had asked Mohan to appear before it today (September 15), in connection with complaints about the social media platform’s alleged deliberate and intentional inaction to contain hateful content in the country.

The panel is headed by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislator from Rajendra Nagar, Raghav Chadha.

The notice was issued after the committee said that prima facie, it has found that Facebook was allegedly complicit in aggravating the February riots in north-east Delhi that left 53 dead and at least 400 injured. 

These primarily have to do with posts on its platform ahead of and during the rites.

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Chadha remarked that Facebook had “broadly suggested that since IT and law and order were under the union government, the Delhi assembly should not get into it”.

Meanwhile, members of the Delhi Assembly slammed what they called “insult and contempt” of the elected Delhi Assembly by Facebook officials. 

Facebook’s assertion was an “erroneous reading”, the panel members said, insisting that the committee was well within its rights to summon the executives to answer serious charges linked to the February Delhi riots.

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