The issue of Facebook apprently ignoring virulent communal comments belonging to members of party in power in India has spraked off not only a political row, but also a twitter war. Shashi Tharoor is handling the barbs from the BJP.
As BJP MP Nishikant Dubey attacked Tharoor saying he had no right to do so without authorization, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra backed the Congress MP. Dubey has reportedly urged MPs of the BJP and its allies in the committee to write to Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla against Shashi Tharoor.
The Wall Street Journal report claimed that Facebook deliberately ignored disruptive content from members of the ruling BJP as well as right-wing voices and groups who have been “flagged internally“.
When Congress leader Rahul Gandhi re-tweeted the report on Sunday, Shashi Tharoor posted: “The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology would certainly wish to hear from @Facebook about these reports and what they propose to do about hate-speech in India.“
To which, the BJP’s Nishikant Dubey, who is a member of the panel, retorted: “The Chairman of the Standing Committee does not have the authority to do anything without discussion of the agenda with its members. Shashi Tharoor, stop Rahul Gandhi’s agenda without authorisation by the Committee and Speaker.”
The BJP member’s comments provoked a sharp response from Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, also a member of the Standing Committee on IT. “Am IT committee member – agenda item was already agreed and bulletinised with Speaker’s approval at the beginning of the year. When to schedule each item and who to call is the chairman’s prerogative,” she tweeted.
Tharoor, responding to Mahua Moitra’s tweet, posted: “You are absolutely right by imputing motives to my decision, Nishikant Dubey has brought the Committee’s work into disrepute, a matter I will take up.
Nishikant Dubey responded to both. “Please read rule 269, regards,” he said to Mahua Moitra. The rule, according to a screenshot tweeted by Ms Moitra, says: “A witness may be summoned by an order signed by the Secretary-General and shall produce such documents as are required for the use of a committee.” On Mr Tharoor’s tweet, he said: “Thanks for your comment, time will tell who brought the committee’s work into disrepute Mr. Chairman.”