Facebook India Vice-President and Managing Director Ajit Mohan has moved Supreme Court against a notice sent to him by the Delhi Assembly Committee in connection with complaints about the social media giant's alleged deliberate inaction to curb hateful content in the country. The petition will be heard on Wednesday by a three-judge bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul.
The Delhi Assembly panel on peace and harmony on Sunday served a second notice to Ajit Mohan to appear before it on September 23. Earlier this month, the panel had issued a notice to Facebook India head Ajit Mohan, asking him to appear before it on September 15, but no representative appeared before the committee that is hearing allegations regarding hate posts against the social media giant.
The Delhi assembly committee, which is headed by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) spokesperson and legislator Raghav Chadha, had warned that non-appearance of any Facebook representative before the panel was not only "contempt" of Assembly, but also an "insult" to the two crore people of Delhi.
The Facebook lawyer, in a reply to the committee's notice, had said the matter was under consideration of Parliament.
The summon was issued in connection with complaints about the social media platform's alleged deliberate and intentional inaction to curb hateful content in the country. The notice was issued after a Wall Street Journal report claimed that Facebook ignored extremist posts by ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders to protect its business interests in India.
Last month, Facebook had said that its social media platform prohibits hate speech and content that incites violence, and these policies were enforced globally without regard to political affiliation.
"While we know there is more to do, we're making progress on enforcement and conduct regular audits of our process to ensure fairness and accuracy," a Facebook spokesperson had said.
Facebook has over 300 million users in India, while its subsidiary WhatsApp is the leader in messaging with over 400 million users. In April this year, Facebook invested $5.7 billion to buy a 9.9 per cent stake in Jio Platforms, the digital arm of energy-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd owned by India's richest man Mukesh Ambani.
By Chitranjan Kumar
Copyright©2021 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today