Facebook gives Delhi panel the slip, refuses to attend meet

Facebook excused itself from the meeting saying it has already appeared before a parliamentary panel and the subject comes under the Centre. The "Peace and Harmony" committee took it as an insult

A Delhi assembly committee has decided to give Facebook “a final warning” for not attending a “Peace and Harmony” meeting it had called on Tuesday (September 15) in the backdrop of the recent Delhi riots.

Facebook excused itself from the meeting saying it has already appeared before a parliamentary panel and the subject comes under the Centre. The social media giant’s written reply said: “had already deposed before the committee of MPs earlier this month and since parliament was seized of the matter, the Delhi Assembly committee should withdraw its summons”.

The “Peace and Harmony” committee was not impressed with the response and took it as an “insult”, stating that it will issue “a final warning” to the company for a no show.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Raghav Chadha, who heads the committee, said that Facebook is suggesting that since IT and law fall under the ambit of Union government, the Delhi assembly should not meddle with it.

The committee later issued a statement: “This is an issue of Delhi, how can Facebook say that it’s not the domain of this committee? Facebook’s statement that parliament is seized of the matter is untenable. The state legislature functions independent of parliament. Your refusal to appear before this committee is an attempt to conceal the role (of Facebook) in the Delhi riots.”

Related news: Delhi panel summons top FB official Ajit Mohan over hate speech allegations

Chadha said that it appears Facebook was not just selective in its application of community standards but “actively fanned the flames” during the Delhi violence.

Raghav Chadha said fresh summons would be issued to Facebook and if they did not comply then they “should be forced to appear through coercive actions”.

US media reports recently cited interviews with unnamed Facebook insiders to conclude that the social media giant had double standards in applying rules and used them to suit their convenience.

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