Delhi panel summons Facebook India's VP over hate speech row
A Delhi Assembly panel has summoned Facebook India Vice President and Managing Director Ajit Mohan amid allegations of inaction against politicians of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over hate speech on the social media platform. The panel on peace and harmony—headed by Aam Aadmi Party MLA Raghav Chadha—has summoned Mohan to appear before it on September 15 on the Delhi Vidhan Sabha premises.
Mohan summoned at noon on September 15
The summons, issued by Delhi Assembly's deputy secretary on September 10, stated, "We hereby summon you (Ajit Mohan) to appear before the committee on September 15, 2020, at 12 Noon at MLA Lounge- 1, Delhi Vidhan Sabha, for the purpose of recording your deposition on oath and participating in the proceedings carried out by the committee," according to Hindustan Times.
WSJ reported Facebook officials ignored hate speech by BJP politicans
The hate speech row had erupted after a report published in The Wall Street Journal on August 14 titled 'Facebook hate speech rules collide with Indian politics'. The report stated that Facebook officials—particularly its top public policy executive in India, Ankhi Das—had looked over hate-speech rules to at least four individuals and groups linked with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) citing business imperatives.
Panel earlier said Facebook is complicit in Delhi's February riots
The summons were issued weeks after the panel had said during its second hearing on August 31 that it had prima facie found Facebook complicit in the Northeast Delhi riots of February on the basis of depositions of key witnesses and incriminatory material placed before the panel. The panel is probing the matter after receiving "several complaints" from people based on the WSJ report.
Over 50 people were killed in Delhi riots
Intense violence had broken out in Delhi in late-February over the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The violence evolved into the worst Hindu-Muslim riots in decades which left over 50 dead and hundreds injured. Notably, BJP leader Kapil Mishra was one of the politicians accused of inciting the riots, however, he had denied the allegations and was not charged by the Delhi Police.