Parl panel meets on Twitter row: Micro blogging company nominates senior official

Parl panel meets on Twitter row: Micro blogging company nominates senior official

Agency News

New Delhi, Feb 11: The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Technology on Monday held a meeting here on the subject of 'Safeguarding citizens rights on social or online news media platforms'.

The panel is headed by BJP lawmaker Anurag Thakur and has among others members such as Prasun Banerjee (Trinamool), Hema Malini, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, L K Advani and Virender Kashyap (all BJP), P Karunakaran (CPI-M), Raj Babbar (Congress) and K G Kenye (NPF) as members.

According to sources, Twitter has nominated its Director, Policy for South Asia to make appearance at the panel meeting on Monday.

The meeting was convened to enlist "views of the representatives" of the Union Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology and Twitter on the subject.

Monday's deliberations would be important as Twitter had earlier provoked members and chairman of the Parliamentary panel Mr Thakur by stating that its global CEO Jack Dorsey cannot come due to paucity of time between the date of summoning and the date of hearing.

Sources said the stance taken by Twitter top brass is 'surprising' as the notice was issued on February 1 and in view of the request from Twitter - the February 7 meeting of the panel was deferred to February 11 to allow the Twitter CEO or senior officials more time.

A section of the ruling dispensation was not happy over the fact that the Twitter has reportedly encouraged left leaning and anti-government tweets in recent past.

Ventilating his anguish at the conduct of Twitter, Mr Thakur had tweeted saying - "The Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology takes very serious note of this. We will take appropriate action on 11th February."

He also invited citizens to send or convey their concerns and issues via email to the 31-member Parliamentary Committee.

In fact, Indian Parliament is the fourth legislature globally after Singapore, European Union and the US Congress to probe into the issue of abuse of political content and conduct of the popular and globally acclaimed micro blogging site.

Displeased at its perceived pro-Democrat stance, US President Donald Trump had recently slammed Twitter for "shadow banning" Republicans.

BJP lawmaker and former Law Minister Dr Subramanian Swamy has on Saturday that the Twitter declining to come before the parliamentary committee is a "very serious matter".

Another BJP MP and chairperson of Lok Sabha Privilege Committee Meenakshi Lekhai also said that the micro blogging site can face 'repercussions'. (UNI)