New Delhi: A standing committee of Parliament has summoned the representatives of tech giant Google and social media platform Facebook to appear before it Tuesday, the ‘Hindustan Times’ said Monday. The Parliamentary committee is headed by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor. It will hear the views of the companies about safeguarding the rights of the citizens and how to stop the misuse of social media. This new development comes 10 days after officials of Twitter appeared before the panel to discuss India’s new IT rules.
Discussions centered around the content being uploaded by the users of the microblogging platform. The company representatives were also asked whether the content respected the law of the land. Twitter, through it counsel Ayushi Kapoor and public policy manager Shagufta Kamran, told the panel that it follows its own policies. However, they were snubbed by the members of the panel. The committee then asked Twitter representatives that law of the land is ‘supreme’ and asked the company to abide by them.
The meeting came amid a feud between Twitter and the Indian government over the new IT rules. The government has asked the microblogging platform to abide by the new rules, which it said have been created to safeguard the citizens. The feud has seen Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s Twitter account getting deactivated for some time Friday.
Twitter has already lost the legal protection in India when the government stripped it of its intermediary status. This means that Twitter will not considered as a platform hosting people’s tweets but it will be editorially responsible for the content.
Twitter has faced the heat over removing blue tick (verification badge) from the accounts of Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu and many leaders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). It has also received notices from the Delhi Police in Congress toolkit case.