A Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology (IT) led by BJP MP Anurag Thakur has asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to present himself before it on 25 February, reports Hindustan Times (HT).
The committee declined to meet Twitter’s representatives from India.
The multi-party committee, “unanimously” declined to meet executives of the social media giant on Monday (11 January).
“The committee decided that it would be a waste of time to discuss matters with representatives, who according to their (Twitter) own submission, do not have the mandate to frame policy matters or enforce them,” said a member of the committee to Economic Times (ET).
“The committee has insisted on meeting someone who can be held accountable for Twitter’s actions in India. The issue at hand is of pinning responsibility,” the member added.
The committee is investigating how Twitter’s algorithms are employed in India and has also sought the details about the funding of advertisements that appear on Twitter. In essence, the panel wants to safeguard the citizens’ rights on social media/online news platforms.”
“If it is a content controlling platform through algorithms, then it is a media platform and a different set of regulations, including over the infusion of foreign direct investment apply. That question remains unresolved for now,” said a source to HT.
Disregard By American Company
Twitter’s move to depute a junior employee to represent the social media platform at the Parliamentary IT Committee did not go well with Indian lawmakers. “The lack of seriousness and disregard shown by Twitter to India's Parliament is not new. Social Media Tech CEOs have evaded answers and tried to avoid Parliamentary hearings in Singapore and the US Congress previously,” said one of the ANI’s sources.