Twitter will send its Global Vice-President of Public Policy, Colin Crowell, to appear before the IT parliamentary committee on February 25, the company told The Indian Express. The committee has also summoned WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram to a hearing on March 6 on the issue of “Safeguarding Citizens’ Rights on Social /Online News Media Platforms”.
“These are issues for all Internet services globally,” a Twitter spokesperson said.
This comes after a complaint of submitted to BJP MP Anurag Thakur, the chairman of Parliament’s Departmentally Related Standing Committee on Information Technology, alleging an “anti-rightwing” bias on Twitter. The committee was learnt to have written to Twitter on February 1, asking “representatives of Twitter” to attend a hearing.
On February 5, Thakur tweeted that the committee would meet on February 11 to hear views of representatives of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and Twitter on “Safeguarding citizens’ rights on social/online news media platforms”. On February 7, Twitter sources said, the committee sent another letter, requesting that “the CEO or at least the next senior most functionary in the hierarchy” attend the meeting.
On February 9, Twitter responded that the company’s CEO would not be able to attend the meeting because of the short notice, but that the company was open to finding a more suitable date. Thakur then tweeted that the committee “takes very serious note of this”, and would “take appropriate action on 11th February”.
On February 11, the committee declined to meet officials from Twitter India, and unanimously decided to instead call CEO Jack Dorsey and his top executives for a hearing on February 25.