India’s parliamentary committee summons Facebook and Twitter

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The committee has previously summoned Facebook over the issue of political bias on the platform. 

India’s parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology has summoned Facebook and Twitter officials on January 21 over the misuse of social media. 

The official agenda of the meeting to be conducted by the committee states: “Evidence of representatives of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and to hear the views of the representatives of Facebook and Twitter on the subject ‘Safeguarding citizens rights and prevention of misuse of social/online news media platforms including special emphasis on women security in the digital space’.”

In September, the committee had summoned Facebook over the issue of political bias on the social media platform. Facebook faced criticism for exhibiting political bias towards the Bharatiya Janata Party, after an article published by the Wall Street Journal in August. Few earlier reports have stated that the committee is a deliberate attempt to tarnish the image of the ruling National Democratic Alliance.

The standing committee was formed in September last year and aims at increasing the answerability amid growing social media platforms. Senior Indian National Congress party leader Shashi Tharoor is the chairperson of the multi-party committee.

Recently,  Facebook-owned WhatsApp’s new privacy policy has faced heavy criticism. WhatsApp updated its privacy policy and made it compulsory for its users to accept the revised terms and conditions before February 8, to continue using the platform. However, the backlash has led to the extension of the older policies until May 15. 

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