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Delhi Assembly vs Facebook: Is the social media giant answerable to states?

Facebook has argued that the Delhi Assembly can't summon a non-member to appear before it, since 'police and 'public order' do not fall within its ambit

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Experts say the law to determine intermediary accountability remains unclear even after the proposed guidelines and provisions in the IT Act

The recent tussle between the Delhi Assembly and Facebook has raised an important question: Is the social media giant answerable to states? The answer, according to Facebook, is no. The tussle began with investigation of allegations that Facebook and its subsidiary, WhatsApp, were used to spread communal posts during the Delhi riots in January in which over 50 people died. The Delhi Assembly’s Peace and Harmony Committee summoned Facebook’s Vice-President Ajit Mohan to investigate whether the firm exercised due care in taking down incendiary posts. The firm ...