Founder of Rashtriya Swabhiman Andolan K.N. Govindacharya has demanded that the government make it mandatory for the companies managing online social networking sites, to set up their offices in India and scrutinise their subscribers before registering them.

Recalling the recent rumours posted on social media websites leading to exodus of North-East workers and students from various States, Mr. Govindacharya said the companies could escape, despite the havoc, on the pretext that they were US-based. The government should bring pressure so that they could be held more accountable for what was publish on their sites, he said.

In a press meet here on Thursday, he also demanded that the companies be made to pay tax, as they were doing business here by taking subscribers. India was the third largest country in terms of the number of Facebook subscribers, he noted. He said despite coming under the purview of the Telecom Ministry and duty-bound to authenticate the members’ details, the sites were allowing children below 13 years as subscribers, he said.

Mr. Govindacharya, it may be recalled, had filed a Public Interest Litigation in Delhi High Court against Facebook India, Google India and the Central government, seeking recovery of taxes on the companies’ income from India.

More In: Hyderabad