Indian MPs want to question Twitter’s Dorsey

Twitter chief executive officer Jack Dorsey. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Twitter chief executive officer Jack Dorsey. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A PANEL of MPs in India wants Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to appear before it on February 25 to seek his views on “safeguarding citizens’ rights on social/online news media platforms”.

The parliamentary committee had previously summoned representatives of Twitter to a meeting on Monday (11) to discuss the issue. However, Twitter said it won’t be able to get Dorsey to the country on time.

Indian MPs refused to meet Twitter India’s representatives who turned up to attend the meeting on Monday, insisting on the presence of a senior member of Twitter’s global management team.

These summons to Dorsey come just months ahead of India’s general elections which will be held by May. Supporters of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have complained that the microblogging platform has been banning accounts supportive of the BJP, led by prime minister Narendra Modi.

Twitter, which counts India as its fastest growing market, however, responded saying it does not act against users based on their ideology.

“To be clear, we do not review, prioritise or enforce our policies on the basis of political ideology. Every tweet and every account is treated impartially. We apply our policies fairly and judiciously for all,” Colin Crowell‎, who leads public policy, governance and corporate philanthropy efforts at the network, was quoted as saying by the BBC.

He noted that the platform had made more than 70 “product, policy and operational changes” since the beginning of 2018, to help people “feel safe expressing themselves on our service”.

“Abuse and hateful conduct comes from accounts across the ideological spectrum and we will continue to take action when our rules are broken.”

Dorsey is no stranger to controversies. During his trip to India in November, Dorsey ended up enraging Hindu nationalists after a picture of him with a placard saying “smash Brahminical patriarchy” went viral. The picture alluded to the oppression by upper-caste Hindus.

The following month, he was criticized for promoting Myanmar as a tourist destination despite widespread allegations of human rights abuses in the country.