Assembly panel to summon Facebook officials

New Delhi: A Delhi Assembly panel on peace and harmony decided on Tuesday to summon Facebook officials as it initiated proceedings over complaints about the social media giant's alleged "deliberate and intentional inaction to contain hateful content" in India, an official statement said.

The development comes in the backdrop of a report published in the Wall Street Journal recently, citing interviews with unnamed Facebook insiders to claim that one of its senior India policy executives intervened in internal communication to stop a permanent ban on a BJP MLA from Telangana after he allegedly made communally charged posts.

"It was unanimously decided by the committee, upon the revelations and insights gathered by the witnesses, that Facebook officials must be called upon to carry out a painstaking investigation into the allegations made by the complainants which were supported by the witnesses as well as the depositions of key witnesses summoned," the statement said. The committee will "soon issue notices to top officials of Facebook" to examine them on record, it said.

During depositions by "expert witnesses" and some journalists at the proceedings, panel chairman and AAP MLA Raghav Chadha, asked

a range of questions over the alleged "Facebook BJP relationship", hateful content and the role of social media in "aggravating" riots in Delhi earlier this year.

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