New Delhi: A political slugfest erupted over social media giant Facebook “overlooking” misuse of the platform. Amid a war of words between the Congress and the BJP, a Parliamentary panel is on Wednesday set to meet Facebook representatives to discuss the allegations regarding “hate speech” as published in the US publication Wall Street Journal. Also Read - Sonia Gandhi Returns With Son Rahul From US Post Health Check-up Amid Ongoing Monsoon Session
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, headed by senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, had summoned Facebook representatives to hear their views “on the subject of safeguarding citizens’ rights and prevention of misuse of social/online news media platforms including special emphasis on women security in the digital space”. Also Read - Farm Bills Row: Will Consider Revoking Suspension Only After MPs Apologise, Says Ravi Shankar Prasad
Earlier today, the Trinamool Congress wrote to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and claimed that there is ‘enough evidence in public domain’ to substantiate the alleged bias of the social media giant towards the BJP. Also Read - Centre Announces MSP Hike Amid Row Over Farm Bills, Opposition to Take Protests to Streets | Roundup
“We, the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), India’s second-largest opposition party, have had serious concerns about Facebook’s role during the 2014 and 2019 general elections in India,” O’Brien wrote in the letter dated August 31.
This is the third letter to Facebook in the span of a month after Congress’ two letters inquiring about the steps being taken to investigate the stated allegations.
The Parliamentary meeting was scheduled to take place on Tuesday but was adjourned in view of the State Mourning to honour former President Pranab Mukherjee who passed away on Monday.
A fresh political slugfest started as Congress leader Rahul Gandhi claimed yesterday that international media has “exposed” Facebook and WhatsApp’s “brazen assault” on India’s democracy and social harmony.
This comes hours after Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad slammed the Zuckerberg media, accusing it’s employees of supporting people from a political predisposition that lost successive elections, and “abusing” Prime Minister and senior cabinet ministers.
The whole controversy erupted after a report in the Wall Street Journal, few days ago, claimed that Facebook refused to apply hate speech rules to certain ruling party politicians. Congress General Secretary K.C. Venugopal had also written to Mark Zuckerberg, demanding to know the steps being taken by Facebook to investigate the serious charges that have come to light.