Twitter CEO, officials refuses to appear before Parliament panel: report
11 February 2019
The chief executive and top officials of social media Twitter have declined a summons to appear before the Parliamentary Committee on IT over the issue of safeguarding citizens’ rights on social media platforms, reports citing sources in the panel said on Saturday.
The Parliamentary Committee, headed by BJP MP Anurag Thakur, had issued summons to Twitter via an official letter on 1 February to appear before a parliamentary committee meeting. The meeting, originally scheduled for 7 February, was also postponed to 11 February to allow the Twitter CEO and senior officials more time to make themselves available.
However, Twitter cited “short notice of the hearing” as the reason, despite the panel delaying its meeting, reports quoting sources said.
“It may be noted that the Head of the Organisation has to appear before the Committee,” the Parliament panel in its communication to Twitter said. It had also further stated that that the CEO (he/she) may be accompanied by another representative.
However, on 7 February, the Parliament panel on IT received a letter 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.”
Twitter’s decision not to send any senior official to appear before the Indian Parliamentary IT Committee and instead dismiss the summons with a letter from Gadde, a junior functionary, is seen as an affront on the Parliament panel.
Twitter’s move comes at a time when there are growing concerns about safeguarding citizens’ data privacy and election interference through social media platforms.
India is the fourth country after the US, Singapore and EU to look into Twitter’s conduct, which is being watched globally and their response is being seen with concern.