Facebook grilled by Parliamentary Panel over whistleblower Sophie Zhang

Representatives of Facebook on Monday appeared before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Technology (IT), which asked them about whistleblower Sophie Zhang and the allegations made by her in the form of a submission to the Committee.


Devdiscourse News Desk | New Delhi | Updated: 29-11-2021 23:26 IST | Created: 29-11-2021 23:24 IST
Facebook grilled by Parliamentary Panel over whistleblower Sophie Zhang
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By Ashoke Raj Representatives of Facebook on Monday appeared before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Technology (IT), which asked them about whistleblower Sophie Zhang and the allegations made by her in the form of a submission to the Committee.

The Shashi Tharoor-led committee members further grilled Facebook officials over its mechanism to control hate speech and issues of safeguarding citizens' rights. "Concerning Sophie Zhang, Facebook officials have assured the committee that there is no truth to the allegations and that internal investigation in the matter is under process and Facebook has a big team which is currently dealing with it," the Facebook officials told the IT Committee according to sources.

Recently whistleblower Sophie levelled serious allegations against the social media platform that Facebook and its political sophisticated attempted to influence Delhi 2020 assembly elections. Meanwhile, the standing committee can now take up the matter of allowing Zhang to appear before the panel before the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

On the matter of hate speeches, Facebook's representatives gave most answers to the queries raised by the panel but the Standing Committee was not entirely satisfied with the responses, sources said. Sources further stated that the Standing Committee asked Facebook about the methodology that how FB is controlling hate speeches in social media platforms follows to control and curb hate speeches in different languages, especially in an Indian context, since the number of languages and dialects is huge in India.

"While Facebook maintained that it has an efficient system in place in terms of privacy and safety, it has zero compromise policy on user privacy and safety," Sources said.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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