25 Feb 2019
Parliamentary Committee gives Jack Dorsey 10 days to answer questions
On Monday, the Parliamentary Committee on IT met with Twitter's Global Vice President of Public Policy Colin Crowell in lieu of CEO Jack Dorsey.
At the meeting, Twitter was asked to ensure that the upcoming Lok Sabha elections are "not undermined and influenced by foreign entities".
It was also asked to work in "real time with the Election Commission to address issues".
Dorsey has to respond in writing
Apart from the general directions given to Twitter, the 31-member Committee, headed by BJP MP Anurag Thakur, has asked Dorsey to respond to unanswered questions.
The Twitter CEO has been given 10 days to respond to said questions in writing.
Earlier, the Committee had explicitly asked for Dorsey's presence in the hearing, but the CEO had refused to appear.
Earlier, the Committee had demanded Dorsey's presence
Prior to Monday's meeting, Twitter India representatives including Director of Policy Mahima Kaul, had met with the Committee on February 11.
However, despite the meeting, the Committee took a unanimous decision to not negotiate with Twitter till Dorsey himself or a senior member of Twitter's global team with "decision making authority regarding Twitter's operations in India" met with it.
Subsequently, Crowell was dispatched.
Twitter has been accused of an anti-right bias in India
The hearing had been called to discuss the issue of "safeguarding citizen rights on social/online news media platforms", on the back of right-wing users in India alleging that Twitter has an anti-right bias.
It also comes on the back of formulation of new IT guidelines that require social media platforms to remove within 24 hours unlawful content that can affect the "sovereignty and integrity of India".
Globally, too, Twitter has faced scrutiny
Yet, India isn't the only one concerned about Twitter's conduct.
Globally, the micro-blogging site has been facing increasing scrutiny over its conduct, and the Parliamentary Committee hearing in India is the fourth such hearing where Twitter has been summoned.
The social media giant had earlier faced similar hearings in Singapore, the European Union, and back home in the United States.
Meanwhile, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp have been summoned too
Meanwhile, India's Parliamentary Committee on IT has also summoned representatives of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp on March 6 to discuss the same issue of "safeguarding citizen rights on social/online news media platforms".
In the cases of these three companies, the Committee has not asked for their CEOs or high-ranking officials, but has only asked for "representatives" to be present.