Home Government and Policy Anti-right wing bias: Twitter refuses to appear before Parliamentary Committee on IT

Anti-right wing bias: Twitter refuses to appear before Parliamentary Committee on IT

The meeting was initially scheduled on February 7th but was later postponed to February 11 to allow the Twitter CEO and senior officials more time to make themselves available.

The micro-blogging site, Twitter, which has been receiving a lot of flak over its bias against accounts with a right-wing ideology has reportedly declined to appear before the Parliamentary Committee on IT that had summoned them over the issue of safeguarding citizens’ rights on social media platforms.

According to Financial Express, Twitter Chief Executive Officer and top officials have declined to appear before the Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology headed by Anurag Thakur which had issued a summons to Twitter via an official letter on February 1st. The meeting was initially scheduled on February 7th but was later postponed to February 11 to allow the Twitter CEO and senior officials more time to make themselves available.

Apparently, Twitter has now cited “short notice of the hearing” as the reason, despite being given 10 days to travel, the sources said. The letter sent to Twitter clearly stated that “it may be noted that the head of the organisation has to appear before the committee”. It further said, “he/she may be accompanied by another representative”.

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Twitter has displayed its disdain to rule of law by sending a junior employee to represent them at the Indian Parliamentary IT Committee. Reportedly, the parliamentary panel has not taken down this incident well as the junior authorities representing the hearing have no decision-making authority.

The committee reportedly received a letter on February 7 from Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s global lead for legal, policy, trust and safety, stating, “No one who engages publicly for Twitter India makes enforcement decisions with respect to our rules for content or accounts in India.”

The curious case of Twitter censoring social media users for disagreeing to left-wing and ultra wing ideology at the time of crucial general elections has upset several social media users. With opposition parties and Lutyens media ecosystem backed by the Congress party indulging in false narratives and propaganda, right-wing users have expressed fear that more fake news may emerge in the social media platforms.

It is also accused that several prominent right-wing accounts are shadow-banned by Twitter. This means while the account is not blocked or suspended, the Tweets posted by that account do not appear on the timeline of the followers of that accounts. Tweets from such ‘shadow-banned’ accounts do not appear in search results also, effectively meaning that tweets of such persons remain invisible to users unless they visit the Twitter account page of such persons.

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