In what can be considered as the complete disrespect towards the authority of the nation, the Twitter CEO and other top officials have refused to appear before the Parliamentary Committee on IT. Just few days back, Twitter India was summoned by a Parliamentary committee to submit its view on the subject of “safeguarding citizens’ rights on social/online news media platform”. The summons was sent by the Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology, headed by BJP leader Anurag Thakur. It was also reported that officials from Twitter India will appear before the committee on February 11 at 3 pm and present their case, but now they have declined to do so.
Twitter CEO, top officials decline to appear before Parliamentary Committee on IT. It's a shame that they appeared at US but they don't consider our democracy as important enough? What have they got to hide? #ProtestAgainstTwitter
— Vikas Pandey (@MODIfiedVikas) February 9, 2019
The Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg appeared before the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee in September last year. It seems that Twitter don’t consider India important enough that’s why they defied Indian authorities. It’s an insult to country’s sovereignty as well.
It's a shame that they don't take India seriously. India should show them… https://t.co/4q4ZiLBn7N
— Ajit Datta (@ajitdatta) February 9, 2019
Twitter is behaving as if it is not accountable to anybody for its actions.
#CheaterTwitter you can't get away with just a boring blog. You are answerable to your users. Shed your ego and appear before the Parliamentary Committee!
— Vikas Pandey (@MODIfiedVikas) February 9, 2019
Arrogant @twitterIndia declined to appear before India's Parliamentary Committee. its not only showing the arrogance of twitter but also showing Daal me kuch kaala nhi Balki poori Daaal hi Kaali hai #CheaterTwitter
— Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga (@TajinderBagga) February 9, 2019
The allegations leveled against Twitter are extremely serious in nature. The Twitter India has been accused of adopting “discriminatory and unfair practices” which are serious in nature and as per advocate Ishkaran Singh Bhandari such corrupt practices are “threat to national security”. He also alleged that Twitter was suspending accounts which either support “Indic ideals or the current government”.
Members of the Youth for Social Media Democracy protested outside the office of the social media giant and alleged that it has acquired an “anti-right-wing attitude” and has been blocking their accounts.
The allegation that Twitter India is prejudiced against right-wing accounts is not without substance. Several popular right-wing Twitter users have voiced their concerns of falling popularity and sudden 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. It is not a mere apprehension or hunch but has been illustrated by practical ground realities. It cannot be merely incidental that a number of right-wing or center-right Twitter handles suddenly started facing an acute drop in terms of the number of followers. It seems that there is a well-organised strategy of targeting a particular ideology at the major social media platform. A number of right-wing handles have complained about this in their tweets and it seems that the right wing will have to battle it out. This development last year had raised eyebrows and clearly pointed towards the biases and prejudices that are inherent in Twitter India.
Twitter and its CEO are well known for the promotion of left-wing cause. Recently Jack Dorsey generated a controversy on a picture with placard printed ‘Smash Brahminical Patriarchy’ on it. He was criticized by the people of the country for demonizing a community and spreading hatred against it. It is evident that Dorsey was putting people from a particular community at risk to promote left-wing cause. He also openly admitted that majority of his employees are left-leaning. In an interview given to CNN Sunday, Dorsey accepted the fact that his employees are mostly left-leaning but then tried to make up for it by saying that Twitter does not indulge in shadow banning.
In India, Mahima Kaul, Public Policy and Governance Head, Twitter India has been very vocal in her support for Rahul Gandhi. In fact, several of her tweets reveal her alleged anti-Modi and pro-Rahul Gandhi bias.
How do you expect @TwitterIndia to be unbiased when their Director of Policy openly spreads hatred against PM @narendramodi . Do you all this @Twitter #ProtestAgainstTwitter pic.twitter.com/SiD8cxSF6p
— Punit Agarwal (@Punitspeaks) February 3, 2019
Kaul’s alleged politically biased approach seems to be a perfect explanation for Twitter India’s ideologically biased approach that has led to a sudden downfall in the number of followers of Twitter handles that stand by a particular ideology.
Twitter’s biased approach is a major concern in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. It doesn’t augur well for the world’s largest democracy if the social media giant manipulates itself in support of a particular political ideology.
The case against Twitter India is extremely strong and it requires their clarification. And by refusing to appear before the Parliamentary committee, it has disrespected the parliament of world’s largest democracy, they have clearly indicated that they are on a weak pitch and are hiding something. It implies that allegations leveled against them are true and that’s why they are running away.