Meta, MeitY officials to depose before panel

Senior executives from Meta, which owns Facebook and WhatsApp, are scheduled to depose before the standing committee on Information Technology on Monday with respect to the allegations on tampering of advertisement rates for different political parties, sources in know of the development said.

Apart from senior executives from Facebook and WhatsApp, senior officials from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology are also scheduled to appear before the standing committee led by Congress parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor, one of the sources said.

The standing committee is likely to seek ministry officials’ views on the ways in which the internet and especially social media intermediaries can be kept safe and trusted for children and women, while it is likely to question Meta officials on the alleged discrepancies on advertisement rates for political parties.

The standing committee of Parliament on IT, led by Tharoor, includes 31 members, of which 21 are from the Lok Sabha, while the rest are from the Rajya Sabha.

Last week, Congress president Sonia Gandhi had asked the government to “put an end to the systematic interference of Facebook and other social media giants in the electoral politics of the world’s largest democracy”.

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