Guard against misuse, social media platforms told

Ensure there is no meddling in polls, says House panel

Updated - March 07, 2019 08:47 am IST

Published - March 06, 2019 09:15 pm IST - New Delhi

This Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 photo shows the WhatsApp and Facebook app icons on an iPhone in New York. On Wednesday the world's biggest social networking company, Facebook, announced it is buying mobile messaging service WhatsApp for up to $19 billion in cash and stock. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison)

This Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 photo shows the WhatsApp and Facebook app icons on an iPhone in New York. On Wednesday the world's biggest social networking company, Facebook, announced it is buying mobile messaging service WhatsApp for up to $19 billion in cash and stock. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison)

The Parliamentary Panel on Information and Technology has directed Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram to ensure that their platforms are not used to incite violence or meddle in the Lok Sabha election.

This is the third meeting of the panel with social media platforms. The last meeting was with Twitter officials.

Fake news

“We had a constructive meeting. These platforms are used by millions of users in India. They should not be misused by hatemongers or fake news peddlers. Importantly, we told them to ensure that there should not be any foreign interference in our election,” Anurag Thakur, Chairman of Parliamentary committee on IT, told The Hindu . Mr. Thakur added that Facebook had agreed to regular meetings with the Election Commission.

According to sources, the panel members grilled the officials of Facebook.

“The question is, is Facebook a technology company advertising firm, a media firm or marketing firm? They were not able to give us any clear answer to this fundamental question,” a member told The Hindu . Facebook, according to sources, said that they are a “hybrid company”.

Cloned accounts

The members raised the issue of cloned and fake accounts. A member claimed that there were so many accounts under his name that he no longer knew which one was his own.

They also questioned Facebook on its regulatory frame work on content, advertising and marketing operations in India.

Joel Kaplan, vice-president, global public policy, and Ajit Mohan, vice-president and managing director, Facebook India, and Ankhi Das, director, public policy and programs, India, attended the meeting.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.