Tharoor-led panel held meeting for three hours
The meeting of the panel, led by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, had gone on for roughly three hours. WhatsApp was represented by its Public Policy Director in India, Shivnath Thukral, while Facebook was represented by its Associate General Counsel Saanjh Purohit. Twitter's Director in India Mahima Kaul and legal counsel for India, Ayushi Kapoor, represented the micro-blogging site.
Who all participated in panel meeting?
Apart from Tharoor, BJP MPs Nishikant Dubey, Tejasvi Surya, Anil Agrawal, Raksha Nikhil Khadse, Suresh Gopi, Syed Zafar Islam, Sanjay Seth, Samajwadi Party MP Santosh Pandey, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MP Gaddam Ranjith Reddy, and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MP Jayadev Galla were also present.
Panel discussed whether banning Trump was justified
Multiple sources informed Forbes India that both Facebook and Twitter officials asserted it was necessary to suspend Trump's social media accounts considering the threat to national security in light of the January 6 US Capitol insurrection. Concerns were also raised about the differing reactions worldwide—accounts threatening violence are more readily suspended in the US compared to countries like India.
Intermediary Guidelines under IT Act immediately required: MPs
Reportedly, the MPs unanimously agreed that the amended Intermediary Guidelines under the Information Technology Act are required urgently. The IT Ministry had informed the Supreme Court last October that the guidelines would be notified by January 15, 2021, but they are yet to be declared.
MP asks if WhatsApp has access to his calls/messages
Panel members reportedly dissatisfied with Facebook, WhatsApp's responses.
Twitter questioned over removing Amit Shah's picture
BJP MP Nishikant Dubey reportedly questioned Twitter for temporarily removing Home Minister Amit Shah's profile picture in November 2020. Twitter said the picture was removed automatically due to a report from a copyright holder. Discussions were also centered on the steps taken by Twitter to prevent doxing—the publishing of people's private or identifying information online—of women on its platform.