Maria Montero

Facebook, WhatsApp convened by a parliamentary panel to discuss rights …

A parliamentary panel has convened representatives of Facebook, your courier services WhatsApp and photo sharing app Instagram to appear before him early next month and discuss how to safeguard the rights of citizens on social media.

Social media in the world’s largest democracy has become a hotbed for the spread of fake political news and tech companies face intense scrutiny ahead of the general election to be held before May, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will seek a second term.

A Facebook panel is seen at a film festival in Cannes, France. Image: Reuters

In a circular late Thursday, the parliamentary information technology committee, chaired by Anurag Thakur, a lawmaker from Prime Minister Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, said it would hear the views of Facebook officials and their units on the 6th. of March.

The theme would be “safeguarding the rights of citizens on social media platforms or online,” he added.

It was not immediately clear whether the panel had asked Indian or global executives from the three firms to come forward.

Facebook declined to comment, while WhatsApp and Instagram did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The panel previously convened the social network’s Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to come forward Monday to discuss the same issue.

“These are problems for all internet services globally,” Twitter said Friday, adding that Colin Crowell, its global vice president for public policy, will meet with the panel on Monday.

Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter have revised policies to increase transparency ahead of the general elections and control misinformation.

Alphabet’s Google launched a program this week to train journalists in areas such as online verification and fact-checking before the polls.

Tech2 is now on WhatsApp. For all the latest science and technology buzz, subscribe to our WhatsApp services. Just go to and hit the Subscribe button.