New Delhi, Aug 18 (PTI) The slugfest between BJP and opposition members of a parliamentary panel on information technology over the prospects of calling Facebook officials before it intensified on Tuesday, with ruling party MP Nishikant Dubey asserting that Lok Sabha speaker's decision should be final while TMC's Mahua Moitra emphasised that the US company has a lot to be accountable for.
Following a report in the Wall Street Journal claiming that Facebook ignored applying its hate speech rules to politicians of the BJP, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who heads the panel on Information Technology, said the committee would like to hear from Facebook about the report.
Emphasising on the need to call the social media giant before the panel, Moitra on claimed, 'ex employees of Facebook have reached out to us (the standing committee) informally and have informed that in fact these issues were raised in Q and A (question and answer) sessions within Facebook internally but nothing much was done about it.' In a video posted on Twitter, Moitra said Facebook has a lot to be accountable for, not just to the parliamentary standing committee but to the people of India as well.
Dubey asserted that the parliamentary committee is an extension of Parliament, not of any party or not a platform to do politics.
Citing Rule 270 of the Lok Sabha's procedure of business, he said only the Speaker can summon private persons, adding, 'If at any time any question arises whether the evidence of a person or the production of a document is relevant for the purpose of the committee, the question is referred to the Speaker whose decision is final.' Supporting Dubey, another BJP MP in the panel Locket Chatterjee said Tharoor as the committee's chairman should have consulted the panel on this issue before going public.
The parliamentary standing committee on Information and Technology has members from both houses of Parliament and administratively comes under the Lok Sabha Secretariat.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued on Monday, Facebook said its social media platform prohibits hate speech and content that incites violence and these policies are enforced globally without regard to political affiliation.
However, the social media giant -- which counts India among its largest markets globally -- also acknowledged that 'there is more to do'. PTI JTR ASK ZMN