Parliamentary panel summons Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram officials


A parliamentary panel Monday asked micro-blogging site Twitter to address issues in real-time and engage more with the Election Commission of India (ECI) ahead of general elections and also summoned senior officials of other social media platforms Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram on March 6.

This was informed by Anurag Thakur, chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, after a nearly three-and-a-half-hour meeting with Global Vice President of Public Policy for Twitter Colin Crowell and other officials of the micro-blogging platform.

Thakur said Twitter officials were asked to "engage more" with the ECI and address issues on a "real-time" basis.

The Twitter officials were told that there should not be any "international interference" in the Lok Sabha polls.

Sources said the social media platform was categorically asked to ensure the forthcoming elections are not undermined and influenced by foreign entities.

This message to the micro-blogging site was in an apparent reference to numerous complaints of interference by social media platforms in the US elections, they said.

Thakur said Twitter officials replied to most questions and would submit replies to remaining queries in writing in 10 days.

The panel, which hear the views of the representatives of Twitter on 'safeguarding citizens rights on social/online news media platforms', has also summoned public policy heads of Facebook, WhatsApp and Platform, he said.

Sources also revealed that Thakur read out a letter addressed to him by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey during the meeting.