New Delhi: The Parliament’s Standing Committee on Information Technology (IT), headed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, will look into a report published by a US daily that Facebook’s top policy executive in India didn’t apply hate speech-related rules to posts by groups linked to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), The Indian Express has reported. Also Read - ‘No Link With Any Party’: Facebook Denies Charges as BJP, Congress Lock Horns Over US Media Report | Roundup
The committee secretariat will write to the social media giant on Monday demanding an ‘explanation’ and is also likely to summon its representatives, the report further stated. Also Read - 'Losers, You Were Caught Red-Handed', Ravi Shankar Prasad Hits Back at Rahul After he Claims BJP-RSS Control FB in India
“I will certainly look into the issue and the committee will seek Facebook’s views”, the report quoted the Lok Sabha MP from Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram, as saying. Also Read - Facebook Ignores Hate Speech Rules For BJP-linked Posts, Cites Business Reasons: Report
Notably, the controversy pertains to a report in the Wall Street Journal that Facebook India’s Public Policy Director Ankhi Das had told her staff members that punishing ‘violations’ by BJP leaders would hurt its business prospects in the world’s second-most populous nation, which is Facebook’s biggest global market by number of users.
The WSJ report cited a Facebook post by BJP MLA T Raja Singh, which, it alleged, was not taken down on intervention by Ankhi Das, despite allegedly calling for violence against Muslims and minorities.
The development has led to the opposition Congress demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe and also triggered a war of words with the BJP.
Facebook, meanwhile, has denied that it has any links with the saffron party, saying in a statement that it ‘does not promote hate speech and enforces policies globally regardless of anyone’s political position’.
It also denied promoting content that can incite violence.