In a fresh twist, it appears that Twitter is not the only organization that is facing strict action at the hands of the Central Government. According to a news report, the Parliamentary Committee on IT is not only dealing with Twitter over allegations of promoting bias against right-wingers but is also keen to summon the heads of Facebook and Google respectively in order to ensure unbiased exchange of information on social media during the Lok Sabha elections 2019.
As per the discussion with one of the committee members, reported by controversial news portal The Quint, the Parliamentary Committee doesn’t want to single out only Twitter and wishes to know the policies of other IT giants like Google and Facebook as well. To quote the member’s opinion, as recorded by The Quint, “Many of us members of the Committee have advised Chairman Anurag Thakur during the meeting on Monday to not just single out Twitter but also summon the other big platforms like Facebook and Google and hear their policies before the upcoming elections. “
For those unaware, social media portals like Twitter and Facebook have come under severe criticism after reports of huge quantities of data of the respective users being stolen by Cambridge Analytica hit the news. This incident concerned India as well since undeniable links of Cambridge Analytica with Congress party were also exposed by British whistleblowers.
To make matters worse, Twitter India has recently indulged in a sort of ‘ethnic cleansing’, with their extremely dictatorial attitude towards alternative ideologies. While fake news peddlers like Dhruv Rathee, Pratik Sinha etc. are having a field day without fear, right winger accounts are being targeted for even the most innocuous of tweets. When the Parliamentary Committee summoned Twitter on the issue, the officials behaved in an extremely arrogant way, refusing to turn up citing the ‘short time’ of the notice.
However, the Parliamentary IT Committee, led by popular BJP MP Anurag Thakur, was no pushover. When a select committee of Twitter officials, including the controversial policy head of Twitter India Mahima Kaul finally turned up, the Committee sent them packing, refusing to entertain anybody from Twitter until and unless the CEO Jack Dorsey himself turned up. The intent was clear, as shown in the following tweet of Anurag Thakur:-
The Parliamentary Commitee on Information Technology takes very serious note of this.
We will take appropriate action on 11th February.
Citizens are welcome to send their concerns/issues via email to the Parliamentary Commitee.
— Anurag Thakur (@ianuragthakur) February 9, 2019
Though an official confirmation is yet to come up, if this turns out to be true, this is another bold step taken by the Central government in the right direction. We’re not unaware of the penchant that such organizations have for left-liberal ideology. However, there’s a limit to everything, and it is welcome that the incumbent NDA government is taking the pains to call a spade a spade.