Facebook's India head Ajit Mohan deposed before a parliamentary panel on Wednesday and suggested that the social media company's fact-checking team has so far found no such element that necessitates a ban on the Bajrang Dal, sources said.
Mohan deposed before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, chaired by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor. The panel had called him on the issue of the citizens' data safety. Mohan was accompanied by Shivnath Thukral, the public policy director of Facebook.
Congress MP Karti Chidambaram, along with Tharoor, questioned Mohan about a recent Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report suggesting that the social media giant is reluctant on banning the Bajrang Dal on its platform due to financial reasons and concerns over the safety of its staff, sources said.
The WSJ report suggested that despite an internal assessment calling for a ban on the Bajrang Dal, Facebook has not cracked down on the Hindu nationalist group due to financial considerations and concerns over the safety of its employees.
Replying to queries, Mohan suggested to the panel members that the Facebook fact team consultant has so far not found any such element in the content posted by the Bajrang Dal that is violative of its social media policies.
Further quizzing him, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey asked if the Bajrang Dal content was not found to be violative of its social media policies, then why did the Facebook not deny the WSJ report and termed it as fake.
Earlier this month, the Delhi Assembly's Peace and Harmony committee moved Supreme Court and sought to intervene in a plea filed by Facebook India VP and MD Ajit Mohan challenging the summons issued by the panel after he failed to appear before it in relation to the north-east Delhi riots.
Senior advocate Harish Salve who was appearing for Mohan said that the legal aspect of the committee intervening needs to be looked into, but that he he does not have any objection to hearing of the plea.