Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey will not appear before the Parliamentary panel on information technology on February 25, a spokesperson for the social media firm said on Friday. Instead, the company’s head of public policy, Colin Crowell, will attend the meeting, PTI reported.
The Parliamentary panel had summoned Dorsey to appear before it on February 11, over concerns that Twitter may be used to interfere in the Lok Sabha elections, which are expected to be held in April and May. The panel had sought Dorsey’s opinion on complaints about perceived bias against right-wing handles on the platform.
However, after Twitter turned down the summons, the committee refused to interrogate a “junior officer” in Dorsey’s place, and threatened action against the company. Later, it issued Dorsey a summons for February 25.
“We thank the Parliamentary committee for its invitation to hear Twitter’s views on ‘Safeguarding citizen rights on social/online news media platforms’,” the Twitter spokesperson said in a statement emailed to PTI. “These are issues for all internet services globally.”
The February 11 summons were issued days after the Youth for Social Media Democracy, a right-wing outfit, held protests, accusing the social media firm of suspending or shadow-banning accounts that appear sympathetic to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the government.
On January 10, Twitter had announced that it will provide an advertising dashboard that will show expenditures by political parties in India on the platform during the course of the election.
On Thursday, Twitter said it has formed an internal group to lead “electoral integrity work” in India. The group will identify potential threats from malicious actors on the social media website.