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‘We are answerable only to the Govt of India’: Facebook rejects Delhi assembly committee’s summons

"The regulation of intermediaries like Facebook fall within the exclusive authority of the Union of India. Given that the matters are under consideration by Parliament, we object to the notice and request you recall it," Facebook has reportedly replied to the summons by Raghav Chadha's committee.

On Tuesday, Facebook India snubbed the Delhi government after it had issued summons to the social media giant to testify before the Delhi Assembly ‘Peace and Harmony committee’ led by AAP’s Raghav Chaddha on September 15. The summons was issued to Managing Director and Vice-President Ajit Mohan over complaints of ‘deliberate inaction’ by Facebook against hate speech that culminated in the Delhi riots.

Facebook snubs Delhi government

In its statement, Facebook India declined to attend the hearing of the committee, citing that they have already testified before a Parliamentary Standing Committee in early September for ‘safeguarding citizen’s rights’.

It stated, “The regulation of intermediaries like Facebook fall within the exclusive authority of the Union of India. Given that the matters are under consideration by Parliament, we object to the notice and request you recall it.” The social media giant further emphasised the subject of ‘law and order’ in the Union Territory of Delhi falls under the Union government.

Raghav Chadha takes offence; issues new summons to Facebook

AAP MLA Raghav Chadha, the head of the committee, was irked after being snubbed by Facebook. Labelling it as a ‘disregard’ to the ‘privilege’ of the committee, he informed that summons would be issued to the social media platform yet again. He alleged that Facebook is trying to hide crucial facts in connection to the riots.

Raghav stated, “Facebook’s refusal to appear before the committee is an attempt to conceal crucial facts in relation to its role in the Delhi riots. A fresh summons will be issued to it in line with principles of natural justice.”

Alleged links between AAP and Facebook management

Ankhi Das is the Public Policy Director, Facebook for India, and South & Central Asia. While the left-liberal jamaat has accused her of being a ‘BJP agent’, her old Facebook posts tell a different story. When the Aam Aadmi Party had shared a ‘Jhaadu Dance’ video prior to the Lok Sabha elections, Ankhi Das had dubbed it as a ‘cool campaign’.

Moreover, writing an opinion piece in ‘Daily-O’ titled, “The battle for Delhi on Facebook”, she had praised the Facebook campaign of the Aam Aadmi Party. Ankhi wrote, “Much like they did in the December 2013 Delhi elections, the Aam Aadmi Party had a much stronger ground game. Its street power merged seamlessly with its campaign strategies on Facebook.”

While suggesting that the BJP took its voters for granted, she insuinated, “The AAP’s success shows that no party – no matter how popular – can take the electorate or a good online strategy for granted.”

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