Parliamentary Committee Asked Social Media Giants To Tackle Fake NewsSocial Media

March 06, 2019 15:22
Parliamentary Committee Asked Social Media Giants To Tackle Fake News

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The Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology (IT) on Wednesday asked the social media platforms including Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram to tackle fake news and engage more with the Election Commission of India.  

Previously, Parliamentary panel summoned Twitter on February 25, Global Vice President of Public Policy for Twitter Colin Crowell appeared before the panel. After the meeting,Anurag Thakur, Panel head said that Twitter officials were asked to “engage more” with the ECI and address problems on a “real-time” basis.

According to reports, In today’s meeting the panel asked a detailed report from Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram regarding steps taken by them to safeguard user data on their platforms.

The committee directed the social media company officials to inform it about the measures taken by them to prevent the spread of fake news, especially during the election time.

The social media platforms were asked to introduce new tools to bring transparency in ads related to politics.

The members of the parliamentary standing committee also directed the social media companies to tell as to how they intend to address issues like political bias, misuse and manipulation on their platforms. They were asked to give a detailed presentation before the parliamentary panel during the next hearing.

On being asked by Parliamentary Standing Committee, “Is your platform serving society or dividing communities?”, Facebook said, "They are a “hybrid company.”

It failed to clearly answer which regulatory framework applies to their content, advertising and marketing operations in India, the news agency ANI reported.

On behalf of Facebook, its Vice-President Joel Kaplan (Global Public Policy) appeared before the Parliamentary panel.

During the hearing, Facebook Official apologised to the parliamentary committee for comments made by Facebook employees on terrorism and Pulwama attack.

''Indian elections, national security, protecting citizens' data is our top priority, send us clear written replies in 10 days,'' the Parliamentary Standing Committee said after hearing views of officials from Facebook, Whatsapp & Instagram.

-Sai Kumar

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