The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology has asked the heads of WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram to appear before it in March (2019), reports Business Standard (BS).
The companies have been asked to either send “the CEO or a member of the global team.” The announcement puts to rest the allegation that the Indian government was unfairly targeting only Twitter in its effort to curb fake news and remove any bias on social media platforms.
Earlier this month (February 2019) the parliamentary committee on information technology had refused to meet India representatives of Twitter and asked the CEO to present himself before it to hear the platform's views on the subject of “safeguarding citizens' rights on social/online news media platform."
The committee is currently investigating how Twitter’s algorithms are employed in India and has also sought the details about the funding of advertisements that appear on Twitter.
With general elections right around the corner, it has become imperative to prevent the spread of misinformation and fake news through social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and messaging platforms like WhatsApp.
Facebook Inc. owns Instagram and WhatsApp.
Appeared Before The US Congress
In September 2018 Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testified before the US Congress Committees on allegations of their failure to protect users’ data, bias against conservative voices, and the use of these platforms for selling illegal materials like drugs.
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