Companies

Follow rules, House panel urges FB, Google

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 30, 2021

Tells them to submit written answers to questions raised in the first meeting on Jan 21

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, headed by senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, heard the views of representatives of Facebook and Google on “safeguarding citizens’ rights and prevention of misuse of social online news media platforms, including special emphasis on women security in the digital space”. This was the second meeting of the panel with both internet giants on the same agenda.

Questions raised

The panel had asked both Facebook and Google to submit written answers to some of the questions members raised in the first meeting on January 21. The panel had met Twitter also recently on the subject. “We wanted some more clarification on the written statements by both the Facebook and Google. In today’s meeting, we got those clarifications. We will examine them before finalising our report,” said a panel member.

The issue of compliance with rules and regulations of the country came in Tuesday’s meeting, too. The members reminded the two companies that they cannot shy away from implementing the IT rules. The panel members had told Twitter, too, to follow the laws of the land. Facebook said it will publish an interim report on details of user complaints on July 2.

“In accordance with the IT rules, we’ll publish an interim report for the period May 15 to June 15 on July 2. This report will contain the details of the content that we have removed proactively using our automated tools. The final report will be published on July 15, containing the details of user complaints received and action taken. The report on July 15 will also contain data related to WhatsApp, which is currently being validated,” said a Facebook spokesperson.

Locked Twitter accounts

The panel is learnt to have also sought Twitter’s response on the issue of locking of the accounts of Union Law Mminister Ravi Shankar Prasad and panel Chairman Tharoor.The secretariat of the panel has sent a letter to Twitter, seeking response within two days on the matter. “As Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, I can state that we will be seeking an explanation from @TwitterIndia for the locking of @rsprasad’s & my accounts & the rules & procedures they follow while operating in India,” Tharoor had tweeted.

Published on June 29, 2021

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