New Delhi, August 18: Amid the political controversy over the allegations that Facebook failed to act against BJP handles irrespective of violations of code of conduct, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology Chairman Shashi Tharoor is planning to summon the social media giant. The committee wants to hear the proposed plans of Facebook to curb hate speech in India.
With the next scheduled meeting of the committee set on September 1-2, Tharoor had stated that the committee would, ‘in the normal course, consider testimony under the topic ‘safeguarding citizens’ rights and prevention of misuse of social/online news media platforms'”, reported Times of India. Congress Says It Tried to Raise Content Manipulation Issue With Facebook and WhatsApp, but in Vain.
However, other committee members — BJP MP Nishikant Dubey — had alleged that Tharoor has no authority to act without discussing the agenda with members of the panel. Following this, TMC MP Mahua Moitra supported Tharoor and stated, “Am IT, committee member – agenda item was already agreed and bulletinised with the Speaker’s approval at the beginning of the year. When to schedule each item and who to call is chairman’s prerogative Amazing how BJP jumps up and down at anything to do with FB’s interests.”
Here’s what Shashi Tharoor said when Mohua Mitra supported him:
You are absolutely right, @mahuaMoitra,& by imputing motives to my decision, @nishikant_dubey has brought the Committee’s work into disrepute, a matter I will take up. Extraordinary that an MP would suggest that a matter of such great public interest should NOT be taken up by us! https://t.co/8pRxZ5r6mU
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) August 17, 2020
Meanwhile, Facebook acknowledged the allegations and agreed that there was ‘more to do’ on prohibiting hate speech. It released a statement and said, “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.”
(The above story first appeared on Fool’s Corner on Aug 18, 2020 09:41 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website foolscorner.com).