Twitter India has been summoned by a Parliamentary committee and has been asked to submit its views on the subject of “safeguarding citizens’ rights on social/online news media platform”.
The summons was sent by the Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology, which is headed by the BJP’s Anurag Thakur. Officials from Twitter India will appear before the committee on February 11 at 3 pm and present their case.
Officials from the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology have also been asked to appear before the committee on February 11 and offer their views on the subject.
The parliamentary panel’s head Anurag Thakur tweeted about the meeting.
The notice to Twitter India was issued after a volunteer group reportedly wrote to the committee, alleging the company was biased against right-wing Twitter accounts.
A notice about the February 11 sitting of the Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology did not mention this letter or the allegations against Twitter India.
However, news website ThePrint reported today that a letter had been sent to the Anurag Thakur-led Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology demanding that social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook be asked to explain their alleged biased behaviour.
“Twitter and Facebook have been systematically trying to curb free-speech of individuals who subscribe to the non-Left-wing ideology by suspending their handles, restricting their reach and removing trends from the trends list,” ThePrint quoted the letter as saying.
Twitter India or Facebook have not yet commented on the letter or the allegations.
The summons issued to Twitter India comes months ahead of the general elections, during which social media is expected to play a major role.
Concerns over the spread of fake news on social media have become more pronounced in India in recent times.
Internet companies such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google have stressed on their commitment to tackling the fake news menace. However, they also face the challenge of ensuring that a drive against fake news does not lead to or amount to censorship.