Delhi panel summons top Facebook official over anti-Muslim content

Published September 13, 2020
The committee has asked Ajit Mohan, the managing director of Facebook India, to appear before it on September 15 to determine the “veracity of allegations” made by the group. — Reuters/File
The committee has asked Ajit Mohan, the managing director of Facebook India, to appear before it on September 15 to determine the “veracity of allegations” made by the group. — Reuters/File

NEW DELHI: Delhi summoned Facebook’s India chief on Saturday to answer allegations that the social media giant failed to remove dangerous content in its biggest market globally.

India is the US-based firm and its messaging service WhatsApp’s biggest market in terms of users, and the company is under pressure worldwide over the policing of hate speech.

Facebook has been embroiled in a huge row in India after the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported in August that the site failed to take down anti-Muslim comments by a politician from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in order to protect its business interests.

The Delhi Assembly’s panel on peace and harmony said on Saturday it would investigate evidence — described by the committee as “incriminating material on record” — submitted by four prominent journalists and digital rights activists.

The committee has asked Ajit Mohan, the managing director of Facebook India, to appear before it on September 15 to determine the “veracity of allegations” made by the group.

It follows US civil rights groups claiming last week that the firm had failed to address hateful content in India and demanded that its India policy chief, Ankhi Das, be removed.

Facebook has denied any political bias but admitted it has to do better to curb hate speech.

The panel — headed by Raghav Chadha, a lawmaker with a party rivalling Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP — also said the firm should be probed over its “alleged role and complicity” in the sectarian Delhi riots in February.

Published in Dawn, September 13th, 2020

Opinion

New engagement
Updated 19 Apr 2021

New engagement

Better Pak-India ties mean a better regional outcome.
Inequality and ideology
19 Apr 2021

Inequality and ideology

Hunger and want, and the constant reminder of inequality,may condition religious mobilisation, but they are not solely sufficient.
Ties of sentiment
19 Apr 2021

Ties of sentiment

Pakistan-UK relations have been remarkably stable and increasingly energised by the Pakistani diaspora.

Editorial

19 Apr 2021

Vaccine shortfall

THE hope that the slew of Covid-19 vaccinations approved for use since the end of last year would vanquish the ...
Another package
Updated 19 Apr 2021

Another package

Sindh has not seen much development worth the name during the PPP’s more than decade-long rule in the province.
19 Apr 2021

Cricket triumph

TEAM Pakistan have a number of reasons to rejoice after their 3-1 T20 series win over hosts South Africa on Friday....
18 Apr 2021

More cabinet changes

PRIME MINISTER Imran Khan has reshuffled his cabinet yet again in what is obviously another attempt to shore up his...
Blocking social media
Updated 18 Apr 2021

Blocking social media

FOR four hours this week, all social media platforms in the country were shut down, a measure the government said ...
18 Apr 2021

Peasant rights in Sindh

IN a seminar held in Nawabshah recently, the Sindh Human Rights Commission and Hari Welfare Association reiterated a...