Assembly panel continues its proceedings against Facebook

Witnesses stress need for grievance redressal mechanism

Published - October 13, 2020 12:27 am IST - New Delhi

The Delhi Assembly’s Committee on Peace and Harmony continued proceedings related to grave allegations against social media platform Facebook here on Monday.

Prabir Purkaystha, editor of NewsClick and Pratik Sinha, co-founder of non- profit fact-checking website ‘Alt News’ were examined by the committee.

In a statement, the committee said, Mr. Purkaystha categorically deposed that there is “a direct correlation” between Facebook’s business model, which “purportedly thrives on hate for maximising its engagement thus leading to disturbing the peace and harmony.”

‘Thrives on virality’

The committee also stated that he also deposed that Facebook, through its business model allegedly thrives on “virality of hate as it catches more eyeballs” and curbing hateful content “does not incentivise them” on their platform.

He also deposed that there should be more effective measures undertaken by Facebook with respect to grievance redressal mechanism as persons sending their grievances must be entitled to know as to what fate their complaint met, the committee said.

Calls for transparency

According to the committee, Mr. Sinha stated that there is “a total opacity in the functioning and structure of Facebook” as there is “no transparency” in their operations.

He also cited various posts which were widely shared during recent Delhi riots but despite being declared as fake, still exist on the platform without any requisite mark of caution, indicating Facebook’s alleged “incompetency in eliminating fake content off its platform.”

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