Policy National

House panel on IT summons Twitter

The Twitter App. File   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

The Standing Committee on Information and Technology, headed by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, has summoned Twitter representatives to appear before the panel on June 18 to hear their views on the steps they had taken to prevent the misuse of social media and online news.

Parliamentary standing committees are resuming work after a long gap on Wednesday. Most of them have not met since April due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fireworks are expected in Thursday’s meeting of the IT panel, with the Opposition and the BJP warring over Twitter tagging a few posts of BJP leaders as “manipulated media”.

In May, Mr. Tharoor wrote to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on Twitter’s ‘manipulated media” tag drawing the ire of panel member and BJP leader Nishikant Dubey, who wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker, demanding the ouster of Mr, Tharoor claiming that he is using the standing committee as an “extension of the Congress”.

Tharoor’s clarification

Mr. Tharoor had to issue a long clarification, where he said that the committee decided to communicate with the MeitY through e-mail, because the standing committees have not been meeting and that the MeitY’s response would be circulated to the members.

The agenda for Thursday's meeting is, “To hear the views of representatives of Twitter followed by evidence of representatives Electronics Technology ‘Safeguarding citizens’ rights and prevention of misuse of social/online news media platforms including special emphasis on women security in the digital space.”

Other than the differences between the Congress and the BJP on the “manipulated media” tag, the MeitY’s ultimatum to Twitter to comply with the amended IT rules is also expected to come up for discussion.

“It is noted that despite repeated letters from the ministry, Twitter had failed to provide adequate clarifications,” Rakesh Maheshwari, group coordinator for cyberlaw at the MeitY, in the final letter to Twitter, said. Though Twitter has assured to comply with the new rules, it has not taken any concrete steps in the direction.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 1:00:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/house-panel-on-it-summons-twitter/article34820873.ece

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