House computer panel questions FB, will ask president to call whistleblower

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The parliamentary IT committee would have decided on Monday unanimously to record the declaration of Facebook whistleblower Sophie Zhang even as panel members questioned Facebook India officials about its guarantees to prevent hate propaganda, polarization and altering the democratic process.

The committee will seek permission from Lok Sabha chairman Om Birla for permission to invite Zhang to record his statements – the chairman’s permission is required to allow foreign persons to appear before panels. Zhang, the first former Facebook employee to publicize the company’s allegedly unethical work, had shared files with the House panel led by Congressman Shashi Tharoor.

On Monday, representatives of Facebook India including Shivnath Thukral, its politician, were questioned by MPs for nearly two hours. they were summoned following allegations by whistleblowers and numerous studies on how social media platforms generate sentiment to improve activities on their platforms to promote business interests.

Panel members were reportedly dissatisfied with the response and Facebook was asked to provide more details in writing about the guarantees.

The social media giant has been criticized by political leaders for failing to take the nation’s plurality into account in addressing these issues. Executives said there was no linguistic or ethnic diversity among those who reported such problems – it only has content reviewers in Hindi, Tamil, Urdu and Bengali.

Recently, in a written response to The Indian Express, Facebook said it has, over the past two years, hired more people with linguistic, national and thematic expertise. “Adding more linguistic expertise has been a key area for us. They are among more than 40,000 people who work on safety and security, including global content review teams in more than 70 languages, including 20 Indian languages, ”a Meta spokesperson told The Indian. Express.

The IT panel previously summoned Facebook for asking for an explanation of a Wall Street Journal article, which said the social media company deliberately turned a blind eye to hate speech by a Telangana BJP leader and failed to do so. not removed from its platform, fearing it could harm the company’s business interests in India, its largest market.


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