Social media platform Twitter is in the midst of a controversy regarding the allegation that the platform is prejudiced against right-wing accounts. Several popular right-wing Twitter users have voiced their concerns over their falling popularity and unprecedented dip in the number of their followers in the past. It seems that Twitter India has been targeting right-wing handles and limiting their outreach. Recently, a Parliamentary Panel headed by Anurag Thakur summoned Twitter India to submit its view on the subject of “safeguarding citizens’ rights on social/online news media platforms”. Initially, the Twitter CEO and other top officials refused to appear before the Parliamentary Committee on IT.
Thereafter, the Twitter India Director of Policy, Mahima Kaul was sent to represent the social networking website before the Parliamentary Committee on IT headed by the BJP lawmaker Anurag Thakur. Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey clearly insulted India by evading appearance before the Parliamentary Committee and sending Mahima Kaul to represent the company before the Panel. Thakur said, “We had summoned the global CEO, he did not appear but sent junior executives.” In a unanimous decision, taken in the presence of committee head and popular BJP MP Anurag Thakur, the committee refused to entertain the request of any of the members of Twitter India, until they came up with the CEO or at least the global operations head. This is not all. Keeping in mind the arrogant response the committee initially received, they also issued a deadline of 15 days for the same.
However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. What is flabbergasting is the fact that Mahima Kaul, Twitter India Director of Policy is pregnant and was on maternity leave when she was made to appear before the Parliamentary Panel by the Social networking platform. It is shameful that not only did Jack Dorsey refuse to appear before the Panel but also sent a pregnant employee on maternity leave to appear before the Panel. This obviously amounts to a grave and shameful violation of such a crucial right of women employees. One cannot help but wonder if Dorsey would have dared to send a female employee on maternity leave for official duty if a US Parliamentary Panel was involved.
Such a move by Jack Dorsey was obviously supposed to invite widespread criticism. As expected, the move was followed by intense criticism too. But what is surprising is the fact that the criticism by the left-liberal ecosystem that vows to protect women rights chose to lay the entire blame on the Parliamentary Panel instead of criticising Twitter or its CEO for this shameful move. The narrative that many are trying to create is that it was unjustified on part of the Parliamentary Committee to keep the twitter team leader who is six months pregnant waiting for two hours. One of them tweeted, “The Twitter team, including team leader who is six months pregnant and had been on leave, was made to wait for two hours by the parliamentary committee.” Journalist Rohini Singh tweeted, “A pregnant woman was made to wait by the likes of @ianuragthakur just because some trolls who have been giving rape and death threats to women were censured?”
However, the fact remains that it was Jack Dorsey, who had been summoned by the Parliamentary Committee. Mahima Kaul had not even been asked by the Panel to appear before it. It was rather dastardly of Dorsey not to appear before the Committee himself and send a pregnant employee instead. Even if he had decided not to appear himself and send someone else, he should have at least been sensitive enough not to send a pregnant employee to appear before the Panel.
From the way, the ecosystem tried cornering the Parliamentary Committee on IT, it seems possible that this may well have been a ploy used by Dorsey to play the victim card. It seems that Mahima Kaul was compelled by the Social Media Company to represent it before the Committee and thereafter, the left-liberal ecosystem sprung into action. Instead of exposing how Twitter violated the rights of a female employee, it made a naïve attempt of mounting an assault on the Parliamentary Panel.