Taking tough stance, the Narendra Modi government on Monday gave 10-day ultimatum to micro-blogging giant Twitter over Parliamentary panel’s unanswered questions.
According to news agency ANI, Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology head Anurag Thakur read out a personal letter addressed to him by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and allowed Colin Crowell, Vice President & Global Policy Head to appear today. Thakur has asked Twitter to ensure that Indian elections are not undermined and influenced by foreign entities. He stressed they must work in real time with Election Commission to address issues. Twitter has been given 10 days to reply in writing to questions that remained unanswered and they may be called again before the Parliamentary Committee.
The latest development comes after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and top officials of the social media giant has reportedly declined to appear before the Parliamentary Committee on IT on February 9. The House panel had summoned Dorsey and his senior colleagues to explain the allegations of bias against it. The Twitter officials were supposed to present their case on February 11. The committee had also summoned Twitter India officials on the issue of safeguarding citizens’ rights on social media, panel head Anurag Thakur said. On February 3, members of Youth for Social Media Democracy had protested outside the office of Twitter India. The protesters alleged that Twitter has acquired an anti-right-wing attitude. “They block our accounts and impressions of the tweets. We won’t tolerate this.” The protesters had insisted Twitter to change its policy.
“There has been a lot of discussion about Twitter and political partisanship in India in recent weeks and we’d like to take this opportunity to set the record straight. In 2017, we asked our most passionate users what they love most about Twitter and what they shared was powerful. They said that Twitter lets them see what’s happening from every point of view, all perspectives, every side. This ability to see every side of a topic makes Twitter unlike any other service in the world and it’s something we work hard to cultivate and protect,” the statement said.
“Twitter is a platform where voices from across the spectrum can be seen and heard. We are committed to the principles of openness, transparency, and impartiality. …Our product and policies are never developed nor evolved on the basis of political ideology.” It added.