NEW DELHI – Twitter CEO and top officials have refused to appear before the Parliamentary Committee on IT that had summoned them over the issue of safeguarding citizen’s rights on social media platforms, sources in the panel said on Saturday. The summon was issued by the head of the Parliamentary panel, BJP MP Anurag Thakur to Twitter via an official letter on 1 February.
A time-period of 10 days was given to Twitter officials by the Parliamentary panel but they could not appear on the scheduled date of 7 February. However, later the date was postponed to February 11 as Twitter cited “short notice of hearing” and requested to extend the time-period. Hence, to give the Twitter CEO and other officials enough time to make them available before the parliamentary panel, the scheduled date was shifted to 11 Feb.
Parliamentary Panel sent a letter to Twitter on February 1 and clearly stated that “it may be noted that the Head of the Organisation has to appear before the committee”. Also, the panel allowed him to be accompanied by other representatives. And in a letter received by the Parliamentary IT Committee on February 7 from Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s global lead for legal, policy, trust and safety, it was stated that “No one who engages publicly for Twitter India makes enforcement decisions with respect to our rules for content or accounts in India.”
The case has been highlighted as there are growing concerns about safeguarding citizen’s data privacy and election interference through social media platforms. It would be interesting to watch the outcome of the hearing by the Parliamentary panel.