Facebook's top India exec summoned over platform's hate speech rules

Facebook's top India exec summoned over platform's hate speech rules
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A panel of New Delhi lawmakers on Saturday summoned Facebook’s top executive in India to respond to claims that the platform did not properly apply its hate speech rules and policies earlier this year, contributing to riots.

The Delhi committee said in a statement reported by Reuters that it asked Facebook India head Ajit Mohan to appear before it on Sept. 15 as part of ongoing investigations into the riots in Delhi that left an estimated 50 people dead.

Facebook India did not respond to the outlet's request for comment on the move by Delhi lawmakers.

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The social media giant has faced increased pressure in India after The Wall Street Journal reported in August that one of its employees opposed enforcing the platform’s hate speech rules on a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Despite questions on the platform’s practices from politicians and employees, Facebook India has since said it is a non-partisan platform and has banned the BJP member involved for violating its policies.

Local officials claim that the hate speech spread on Facebook India fueled the February riots against a law passed that made it easier for non-Muslims from neighboring countries to obtain Indian citizenship.

Protestors at the time said the new law was biased against the Muslim community in India, which includes about 180 million citizens, as well as those in surrounding countries.