India Court Says Facebook Role in Delhi Riots Must Be Examined

The Supreme Court stands in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg)

India Court Says Facebook Role in Delhi Riots Must Be Examined

India’s Supreme Court ruled that Facebook Inc.’s role must be examined in the deadly religious riots that left more than 50 people dead in the capital last year.

It upheld a summons for Facebook’s India managing director to depose before the local assembly. Facebook’s algorithms “are often far from objective with biases capable of getting replicated and reinforced,” the judges said Thursday, adding that “the role played by Facebook is, thus, more active and not as innocuous as is often presented when dealing with third party content.”

“The capital of the country can ill-afford any repetition of the occurrence and thus, the role of Facebook in this context must be looked into by the powers that be,” according to the verdict by a three-judge panel headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul.

The verdict is the latest blow to social media giants in one of their fastest-growing markets. It comes on a day when Twitter Inc. said it would comply with Indian laws that critics say curtail privacy and free speech.

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