Parliamentary panel seeks written reply from FB, WhatsApp in 10 days over tackling fake news
New Delhi, Mar 06: The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology (IT) on Wednesday asked the social media platforms including Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram to send them clear written replies in 10 days on how to tackle fake news and engage more with the Election Commission of India.
ANI quoting sources said that Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology hearing views of officials from Facebook, Whatsapp & Instagram said,''Indian elections, national security, protecting citizens data is our top priority, send us clear written replies in 10 days''.
On being asked by Parliamentary Standing Committee, "Is your platform serving society or dividing communities?", Facebook said, "They are a "hybrid company" & failed to clearly answer which regulatory framework apply to their content, advertising&marketing ops in India".
The Anurag-Thakur-led panel, which met today, directed the social media companies to inform it about the measures taken by them to prevent the spread of fake news, especially during the election time.
Speaking to ANI, Thakur said,''We asked them to ensure their platforms aren't used to create division in society, incite violence, pose threat to India's security or let foreign powers meddle in Indian elections.''
''They accepted there is a need for corrective measures & that they're ready for them. They have said they will be in touch with the Election Commission & work on the information provided by the concerned ministries,'' he said.
The social media platforms were asked to introduce new tools to bring transparency in ads related to politics.
Earlier, a parliamentary panel asked micro-blogging site Twitter to address issues in real-time and engage more with the Election Commission of India (ECI), ahead of general elections and also summoned senior officials of other social media platforms Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram on March 6.
Facebook Global Policy Head has also apologised to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, for remarks made by Facebook employees on terrorism & Pulwama attacks.