Delhi

Attempt to hide crucial facts on Facebook’s role in Delhi riots, says Assembly committee

Delhi Assembly Committee on Peace and Harmony chairman Raghav Chadha. File Photo.  

Facebook India’s Vice-President and Managing Director Ajit Mohan did not appear before a Delhi Assembly Committee on Peace and Harmony on Tuesday, which is looking into Facebook’s alleged role in Delhi riots in February despite being summoned via a notice, said the committee.

Committee chairman Raghav Chadha said on Tuesday that Facebook India officials had “objected” to the notice sent by the committee for the appearance.

“Refusing to appear before the committee is contempt of the Delhi Legislative Assembly. Your refusal to appear before the committee is an attempt to conceal crucial facts in relation to Facebook’s role in the February 2020 Delhi communal violence. This shows that Facebook has something to hide. This shows that Facebook is running away from this committee and allegations on Facebook’s role in Delhi riots may not be completely baseless,” Mr. Chadha said.

The committee is looking into alleged “deliberate and intentional” inaction by Facebook to contain “hateful content”. On August 31, the committee said that prima facie it seemed that Facebook had a role in the Delhi riots and it should be treated as a co-accused.

Last week, the committee sent a notice summoning Mr. Mohan to appear before the committee on Tuesday.

“We respectfully object to the notice and request you to recall it,” Mr. Chadha quoted a letter sent by Facebook to the committee. “They [Facebook] have told the committee to withdraw the notice since a Parliament committee on information and technology is looking into the matter and we [Delhi Assembly Committee] should not interfere in the issue. They have also said that since the issue is related to law and order and IT Act passed by the Parliament, we should not interfere in the issue,” he said.

The committee which met on Tuesday decided to give a “final warning” to Facebook and one more chance will be given to Mr. Mohan to appear before the committee.


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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 7:07:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/attempt-to-hide-crucial-facts-on-facebooks-role-in-delhi-riots-says-assembly-committee/article32608982.ece

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