Facebook hate content row: Top developments

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NEW DELHI: The Congress on Monday upped its attack on

Facebook

and the BJP amid an escalating row over Wall Street Journal’s report that the social media platform refused to apply

hate speech

rules to certain BJP politicians.

However, the tech giant maintained that its policies are enforced globally without regard to political affiliation.

Here are the top developments:

Inaction against hate content destabilisesdemocracy: CongressFacebook’s “inaction” against hate content “destabilises democracy” in India, the Congress said while reiterating its demand for a probe by a Joint Parliamentary Committee into the charges mentioned in the report by the American newspaper.

At a press conference, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said India is one of the most thriving democracies in the world and anybody or any platform that undermines it by “indulging in hate mongering must not be spared”.

“With all responsibility, I will say that Facebook’s inaction destabilises our democracy. More often than not Facebook takes no action and even worse allows objectionable content to continue despite being brought to notice,” she alleged.

BJP MP in war of words with IT Parl panel chief Tharoor, MoitraATwitterduel erupted on Monday between BJP MP Nishikant Dubey and Opposition MPsShashi Tharoor, who heads the parliamentary standing committee on Information Technology, andMahua Moitraover the prospect of the panel seeking views of Facebook about a media report claiming that it refused to apply hate speech rules to certain ruling party politicians.

Reacting to the development, Tharoor said on Sunday that the panel would like to hear from Facebook about the report and what they propose to do about hate-speech in India.

BJP MP and IT panel member Nishikant Dubey, reacting to Tharoor’s comments, had said these panels should not be made a political platform by members to satisfy “ego of their respective party leaders”.

The matter again gathered steam when Dubey tweeted on Monday morning, saying the Chairman of the Standing Committee does not have the authority to do anything without discussion of the agenda with its members.

This drew a sharp response from Trinamool Congress MP and member IT Committee Mahua Moitra who said when to schedule each item and who to call is the Chairman’s prerogative.

Delhi Police files case after FB India executive complains of ‘threat to life’The Delhi Police registered a case based on a complaint by senior Facebook India executiveAnkhi Dasthat she has been receiving “violent threat to her life”, officials said.

Das, who is Facebook’s Director, Public Policy, India, South and Central Asia, had filed the complaint on Sunday, they said.

Based on the complaint, a case has been registered under relevant sections of the law on Monday and investigation has been taken up by the Cyber Cell of the Delhi Police, said Anil Mittal, Additional PRO (Delhi Police).

In her complaint, Das alleged that several people were issuing “threats, making sexually coloured remarks and defaming her” through online posts.

Delhi Assembly panel to summon Facebook officialsA Delhi Assembly panel on peace and harmony said on Monday that it will summon Facebook officials over complaints about the social media platform’s alleged “deliberate and intentional inaction to contain hateful content” in India.

An official statement by the Delhi Assembly committee stated that after careful deliberation on allegations levelled in the complaints received, the panel, chaired by AAP MLA

Raghav Chadha

, has decided to take immediate cognisance of this issue.

CPI(M) demands JPC probe into alleged ‘Facebook-BJP nexus’Demanding a probe into the allegations emerging from a news report in a US daily that Facebook deliberately failed to take action against BJP leaders who violated its hate speech rules, the CPI(M) said the issue raises questions about the ruling party’s investment in the leading social media platform and claimed that there is a “nexus” between them.

“The Politburi of the CPI(M) strongly condemns the role of global social media behemoth,

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