Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Hate Speech Media

Delhi Violence: Peace and Harmony Committee serves notice to Facebook

The Delhi Legislative Assembly’s committee has asked a Facebook representative to present themselves before it on Nov 2

Sabrangindia 29 Oct 2021

Delhi VoilenceImage Courtesy:thestatesman.com

Things are not going Facebook’s way. Ever since the shocking revelations made by a whistleblower a few weeks ago, Facebook’s role in allowing hate to spread unchecked on its platform and even spill onto the streets has been getting increased scrutiny. So much so, that the Peace and Harmony Committee of the Delhi Legislative Assembly has asked it to send a representative to appear before the Committee on November 2.

On October 27, the Committee issued notice to Facebook India Online Services Pvt. Ltd. The Indian Express quoted an official government communique as saying, “In continuation of previous proceedings, the Delhi Legislative Assembly’s Committee on Peace and Harmony has decided to call upon representatives of Facebook India to depose its view on the important role of social media in curbing the spread of false, provocative and malicious messages which can fan violence and disharmony.” It further said, “So far, the committee has examined extremely crucial witnesses, including senior journalists, fact checkers, digital rights activists and Facebook employees. Proceedings shall be live-streamed to maintain the utmost transparency in the functioning of the committee.”

So far journalists Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Prabir Purkayastha and fact-checking portal Atl News’s founder Pratik Sinha have testified before the Committee.

It remains to be seen though if Facebook would send a representative given how it has, in the past, used every trick in the book to avoid appearing before the Committee.

A brief history of Facebook vis-à-vis Peace and Harmony

In March 2020, the Delhi Legislative Assembly formed the Committee of Peace and Harmony comprising 9 members in response to the riots that took place in north east Delhi in February. The Committee has been examining the role of Facebook in helping the instigation of the riots and has issued summons to the company twice.

On September 14, 2020, the Committee received a letter from Facebook India stating that it would not be answering the summons because it considered the subject matter to be “within the exclusive domain of the Union of India.” Ajit Mohan, the Vice President of Facebook India moved the Supreme Court against the notice issued by the Delhi Legislative Assembly’s Committee of Peace and Harmony. Mohan’s petition stated that the Committee cannot summon him as the same issue is being considered by a Parliamentary panel as well.

On July 8, 2021, the Supreme Court, in a judgement in connection with the case Ajit Mohan & Ors. V. Legislative Assembly, NCT of Delhi ruled that the Committee had the power to summon both, members and non-members, including representatives of Facebook. The October 27 notice has been issued in furtherance of this judgment.

Facebook turns a blind eye to complaints against Hate Speech

A recent revelation by a whistleblower showed how Facebook was unable to control the spread of hate speech on its platform. While the company tried to dodge the bullet by claiming it did not have factchecker and people to examine and block hate content in all languages, truth it, that the platform has refused to check hate, even when it is pointed out to it.

SabrangIndia’s sister organisation Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has sent complaints on two occasions to Facebook concerning hateful and violence-inciting speech made by Ragni Tiwari, a right-wing social media influencer who has frequently encouraged acts of violence. CJP’s December 24, 2020 complaint was about her video whereby she appealed to the masses to prepare themselves for December 17 to recreate Jafrabad (read a reference to the February 2020, Delhi Violence) if the farmers don’t stop protesting and leave Delhi. She openly issued a fresh warning to the Central and Delhi Government that if the protests are not put to an end by December 16, she will take to the streets and get all roads cleared and history will repeat itself. By history, she meant the targeted Delhi Pogrom where she brazenly called for the slaughter of the Muslim community and the violence that followed led to deaths of more than 50 people. 

Another complaint was sent on March 3, 2020 for the comments she made in a Facebook live broadcast on February 23, 2020, amidst the Delhi violence. In the video she is seen using derogatory language including cuss-words against the Delhi police for their alleged inaction against stone-pelters. In the 23-minute-long video she said, “Yes, for my country and religion, I cleaned out Jafrabad, and I don’t regret it. If I stay alive, then I vow that every time Shaheen Bagh and Jaffrabad [situations] are created, I will clean them out again, in my style.”

In January 2021, Facebook Inc has responded to two complaints sent by Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) against hateful and inciteful speech made by Ragni Tiwari, stating that they are not in a position to take any action against Tiwari. Instead, Facebook suggested that CJP contact the party directly to get a resolution on the issue.

Related:

Facebook moves SC against Delhi govt’s Peace and Harmony Committee summons
Dear Mark Zuckerberg, time to speak up against hate speech on Facebook
Delhi violence: Facebook skips hearing before Committee on Peace and Harmony
Delhi Govt’s Committee of Peace and Harmony to examine Facebook India’s role in Delhi riots

Delhi Violence: Peace and Harmony Committee serves notice to Facebook

The Delhi Legislative Assembly’s committee has asked a Facebook representative to present themselves before it on Nov 2

Delhi VoilenceImage Courtesy:thestatesman.com

Things are not going Facebook’s way. Ever since the shocking revelations made by a whistleblower a few weeks ago, Facebook’s role in allowing hate to spread unchecked on its platform and even spill onto the streets has been getting increased scrutiny. So much so, that the Peace and Harmony Committee of the Delhi Legislative Assembly has asked it to send a representative to appear before the Committee on November 2.

On October 27, the Committee issued notice to Facebook India Online Services Pvt. Ltd. The Indian Express quoted an official government communique as saying, “In continuation of previous proceedings, the Delhi Legislative Assembly’s Committee on Peace and Harmony has decided to call upon representatives of Facebook India to depose its view on the important role of social media in curbing the spread of false, provocative and malicious messages which can fan violence and disharmony.” It further said, “So far, the committee has examined extremely crucial witnesses, including senior journalists, fact checkers, digital rights activists and Facebook employees. Proceedings shall be live-streamed to maintain the utmost transparency in the functioning of the committee.”

So far journalists Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Prabir Purkayastha and fact-checking portal Atl News’s founder Pratik Sinha have testified before the Committee.

It remains to be seen though if Facebook would send a representative given how it has, in the past, used every trick in the book to avoid appearing before the Committee.

A brief history of Facebook vis-à-vis Peace and Harmony

In March 2020, the Delhi Legislative Assembly formed the Committee of Peace and Harmony comprising 9 members in response to the riots that took place in north east Delhi in February. The Committee has been examining the role of Facebook in helping the instigation of the riots and has issued summons to the company twice.

On September 14, 2020, the Committee received a letter from Facebook India stating that it would not be answering the summons because it considered the subject matter to be “within the exclusive domain of the Union of India.” Ajit Mohan, the Vice President of Facebook India moved the Supreme Court against the notice issued by the Delhi Legislative Assembly’s Committee of Peace and Harmony. Mohan’s petition stated that the Committee cannot summon him as the same issue is being considered by a Parliamentary panel as well.

On July 8, 2021, the Supreme Court, in a judgement in connection with the case Ajit Mohan & Ors. V. Legislative Assembly, NCT of Delhi ruled that the Committee had the power to summon both, members and non-members, including representatives of Facebook. The October 27 notice has been issued in furtherance of this judgment.

Facebook turns a blind eye to complaints against Hate Speech

A recent revelation by a whistleblower showed how Facebook was unable to control the spread of hate speech on its platform. While the company tried to dodge the bullet by claiming it did not have factchecker and people to examine and block hate content in all languages, truth it, that the platform has refused to check hate, even when it is pointed out to it.

SabrangIndia’s sister organisation Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has sent complaints on two occasions to Facebook concerning hateful and violence-inciting speech made by Ragni Tiwari, a right-wing social media influencer who has frequently encouraged acts of violence. CJP’s December 24, 2020 complaint was about her video whereby she appealed to the masses to prepare themselves for December 17 to recreate Jafrabad (read a reference to the February 2020, Delhi Violence) if the farmers don’t stop protesting and leave Delhi. She openly issued a fresh warning to the Central and Delhi Government that if the protests are not put to an end by December 16, she will take to the streets and get all roads cleared and history will repeat itself. By history, she meant the targeted Delhi Pogrom where she brazenly called for the slaughter of the Muslim community and the violence that followed led to deaths of more than 50 people. 

Another complaint was sent on March 3, 2020 for the comments she made in a Facebook live broadcast on February 23, 2020, amidst the Delhi violence. In the video she is seen using derogatory language including cuss-words against the Delhi police for their alleged inaction against stone-pelters. In the 23-minute-long video she said, “Yes, for my country and religion, I cleaned out Jafrabad, and I don’t regret it. If I stay alive, then I vow that every time Shaheen Bagh and Jaffrabad [situations] are created, I will clean them out again, in my style.”

In January 2021, Facebook Inc has responded to two complaints sent by Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) against hateful and inciteful speech made by Ragni Tiwari, stating that they are not in a position to take any action against Tiwari. Instead, Facebook suggested that CJP contact the party directly to get a resolution on the issue.

Related:

Facebook moves SC against Delhi govt’s Peace and Harmony Committee summons
Dear Mark Zuckerberg, time to speak up against hate speech on Facebook
Delhi violence: Facebook skips hearing before Committee on Peace and Harmony
Delhi Govt’s Committee of Peace and Harmony to examine Facebook India’s role in Delhi riots

Related Articles

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Theme

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Campaigns

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Videos

India

Kashmiri Pandit Protest continues for seventh day

Multiple Protests continue, for more than seven days, over Kashmiri Pandit employee Rahul Bhat’s murder in the Valley. Supported by Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Sikhs, the protestors have come forward to accuse the BJP led administration of sending people, who are desperate for jobs, in risky areas with no security and a meagre salary.

India

Kashmiri Pandit Protest continues for seventh day

Multiple Protests continue, for more than seven days, over Kashmiri Pandit employee Rahul Bhat’s murder in the Valley. Supported by Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Sikhs, the protestors have come forward to accuse the BJP led administration of sending people, who are desperate for jobs, in risky areas with no security and a meagre salary.

IN FACT

Analysis

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Archives