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Facebook India summoned by Delhi Assembly over hate content, likely to be involved in Delhi Riots probe

The Delhi Legislative Assembly`s Peace and Harmony Committee has summoned Facebook India Deputy Chairman and Managing Director Ajit Mohan over complaints alleging willful inaction in enforcing rules to curb hate speech.

According to the committee, this allegedly disturbed the peace in Delhi.

The committee headed by AAP MLA Raghav Chadha has served notice to Mohan to appear before the committee on September 15.

Chadha said, “Facebook India has been issued summons on the basis of sharp statements made by key witnesses as well as material presented on their behalf.”

Chadha said, “With regard to the strong evidence presented on behalf of the witnesses, the committee believes that Facebook should be charged as a co-accused in the Delhi riots investigation.”

The committee, with its chairman Chadha, has so far examined four important witnesses. These include eminent writer Paranjoy Guha Thakurta and digital rights activist Nikhil Pahwa.

According to the committee, Thakurta made a statement that Facebook is not as secular and content-neutral as it claims to be. Also, Facebook has been accused of having an “unholy nexus”.

The committee`s attention was also drawn to the process of selective implementation of Facebook policies in the Black Lives Matter case in a country like the United States.

Chadha said they had received a number of complaints alleging that the Facebook authorities concerned willfully ignored material allegedly spreading hatred in India.

After careful deliberations on the allegations made in the complaints, the committee took quick notice of the issue and initiated proceedings. The proceedings will also be live-streamed on September 15 to make the functioning of the committee transparent and to establish public confidence.