Twitter CEO, officials won't appear before parl panel

Twitter cited "short notice of the hearing" as the reason, despite being given 10 days to travel, the sources said. (Reuters File Photo)

Even as Twitter CEO and top officials declined to appear before the Parliamentary Committee on IT citing "short notice of the hearing", the panel on Saturday warned of appropriate action for the lapse. 

The Committee, headed by BJP MP Anurag Thakur, had summoned Twitter officials with regard to safeguarding citizens' rights on social media platforms. 

Though the panel meeting was scheduled for February 7, it was postponed to February 11 to allow the Twitter CEO and senior officials more time to make themselves available.

Twitter cited "short notice of the hearing" despite being given 10 days to travel, sources said.

The Committee 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."

Deputing a junior employee to represent Twitter before the Committee has not gone down well with Indian lawmakers especially since they have no decision making authority, the letter from Gadde said.

A Twitter spokesperson 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."

"We have suggested that we work with the Lok Sabha Secretariat to find mutually agreeable dates for this meeting so that a senior Twitter official can attend. We have also offered representatives from Twitter India to come and answer questions on Monday. We await feedback from the government on both these matters," the spokesperson added.

Repercussions

Anurag Takur tweeted, “The Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology takes very serious note of this. We will take appropriate action on 11th February. Citizens are welcome to send their concerns/issues via email to the Parliamentary Committee.” 

Criticising Twitter, the BJP on Saturday said no agency has the right to disrespect institutions of a country.

"In this situation, if Twitter is disrespecting the established institution of Parliament, then there are repercussions," BJP spokesperson and New Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi said here.

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Twitter CEO, officials won't appear before parl panel

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