Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is unlikely to attend the February 25 meeting called by a panel of MPs to discuss safeguarding of citizen rights on social media and online news portals. The company’s head of global public policy and philanthropy, Colin Crowell, is expected to represent the microblogging platform before the parliamentary standing committee on information technology, people with direct knowledge of the matter said. Sources in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), however, said efforts were still on to have Dorsey attend the meeting.
After this meeting, the panel is expected to summon top executives of Facebook and WhatsApp on March 5 to discuss similar issues, the people said. It is also exploring the possibility of expanding the 48-hour silence rule applicable to print media and TV channels ahead of elections to social media as well and has sought MeitY’s views on this, they said. The ministry, in turn, is considering several options, including regulation through local internet service providers and seeking voluntary compliance by the social media platforms, they added.
During the meeting with Twitter, the panel wants to examine issues such as data privacy. It is also seeking to better understand the company’s business structure, including whether it is a technology company or a media house. Twitter declined to comment on the issue. But in a press statement issued on Thursday, the social media company said the 2019 Lok Sabha elections were a “key priority” for it. “We deeply respect the integrity of the election process and are committed to providing a service that fosters and facilitates free and open democratic debate,” the statement quoted Crowell as saying.