Twitter Bias: Parliament Panel Issues 15-Day Deadline For Senior Officials of Twitter to Depose Before Them, Refuse to Meet Any Other Officials
Image used for representational purpose. (Photo Credit - IANS/Twitter)

New Delhi, February 11: A day after the Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology hinted that it would initiate breach of privilege action against Twitter and its top brass, it gave a 15 day deadline stating that they will not meet any Twitter officials until senior members or CEO of the Twitter Global team depose before the Committee.

Earlier in the day, a Twitter team including Twitter India representatives arrived at Parliament to appear before Parliamentary Committee, headed by BJP lawmaker Anurag Thakur. The Committee had issued a letter to the Twitter officials on February 1 and asked them to appear before the panel, which was refused by the social media giants citing 'short notice' of the hearing. Twitter Bias Row: Anurag Thakur Hints Action By Government Against MicroBlogging Site After Officials Failed To Appear Before Parliamentary Panel Hearing.

Expressing the anguish over the reply by Twitter, Thakur had said, “Of course it can be an issue of breach of parliamentary privilege. They are taking advantage of the world's biggest market and are unwilling to answer.” The BJP parliamentarian had hinted that they would take serious note of the reply. He added, “It is a very serious subject, and the kind of reply they have given will be discussed in the parliamentary committee, and we will take further action on that.”

Even BJP national spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi had criticised the denial of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to appear before the committee. She had warned them of repercussions. Lekhi had said, “There are repercussions because, in any democratic country, institutions need to be respected by the world powers. If there is any violation of any sort, then there are repercussions to those violations...The institutions need to be respected.”

The whole issue involves the safeguarding citizens' rights on social media platforms, and the Parliamentary Committee had asked Twitter officials to appeal before the panel on February 11. The panel sought a reply from Twitter on bias against ‘nationalist’ accounts. The 31-member parliamentary panel had also summoned representatives from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

However, saddened with the reply of Twitter, the panel issued the 15-day deadline and stated that Dorsey to attend the meeting with the committee. In their response, Twitter had said, “Given the short notice of the hearing, we informed the committee that it would not be possible for senior officials from Twitter to travel from the United States to appear on Monday.” It had also said, “We want to reiterate that we not only have deep respect for India's parliamentary process and we are also committed to serving the people who use Twitter in the Indian market.