Govt to Summon Facebook and WhatsApp

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Lok Sabha’s standing committee on Information Technology (IT) is reportedly planning to summon Facebook and WhatsApp to further the hearing on safeguarding citizens’ rights on social and online news media platforms. The standing committee of IT is chaired by a BJP MP, Anurag Singh.

Facebook and WhatsApp are reportedly expected to be called in March. The committee is currently focusing on vetting Twitter’s global executives on the upcoming hearing next February 25, Monday.

The questioning for WhatsApp and its parent company Facebook will be slightly different from that of Twitter, considering the difference in target audience of the two social media giants.

The questions will cover issues such as social media bias, citizen rights and a bit of data privacy in the expected hearing with Facebook and WhatsApp, a senior member of the parliamentary committee told ET.

According to reports, the panel wants to first understand Twitter as a company, whether it is a technology company or media house, where is it registered and what control measures can be affected.

WhatsApp has been going through a tough phase in India as the government directed the messaging platform to develop a technology to trace the origin of each message. Facebook, WhatsApp’s parent company, reportedly refused to comply with the Government’s demands, putting it in risk of facing shutdown in its largest market. Now the hearing would be crucial for the company as it decides its future in India.

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