NEW DELHI: The Delhi Assembly’s committee on Peace and Harmony on Monday said that Facebook should be considered as a co-accused in the Delhi riots case. The committee, formed days after the communal riots in the capital this February, on Monday concluded its second hearing in the matter of the social media giant allegedly intentionally violating its hateful content norms in India.
It has summoned Facebook officials in its next meeting and also continued with its demand for an investigation leading to the filing of a supplementary charge sheet in the ongoing cases related to Delhi riots.
The committee found Facebook “prima facie guilty of a role in the violence” based on the testimonies of witnesses who presented their stories in dealing with Facebook in the past, the committee Chairman Raghav Chadha said.
“The witnesses have alleged strong complicity on the part of Facebook in aggravation of Delhi Riots,” the AAP MLA said.
During the hearing that lasted for more than two hours, these witnesses said that “a strong nexus existed between Ms. Ankhi Das and the ruling dispensation”. Das is the public policy head of Facebook India.
“The witnesses unanimously also believed that the alleged complicity of Facebook has also hampered the process of free and fair elections in India and has the mischievous distinction to ‘hijack’ democracy,” the committee said in a statement.
It also pointed out similar issues with WhatsApp for allegedly not taking enough measures to contain the spread of hateful content.
“The committee has prima facie found Facebook complicit in Delhi riots of February 2020 on the premise of incriminatory material produced on record by the witnesses as well as their scathing depositions before the Committee, and thus deciding to summon the Facebook officials in its next meeting,” the committee’s statement said.