10 February 2019
New Delhi: Citing "short notice" period, top Twitter officials, including its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jack Dorsey, have declined to appear before a parliamentary committee on Monday. The panel is deliberating the issue of safeguarding citizens' rights on social media platforms.
"Given the short notice of the hearing, we informed the committee that it would not be possible for senior officials from Twitter to travel from the United States to appear on Monday," a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement on Saturday.
The Twitter officials were earlier asked to appear before the panel on February 11 for alleged bias against "nationalist" accounts.
However, Twitter's letter has not gone down well with the panel members and is perceived as "lack of seriousness".
"We have suggested that we work with the Lok Sabha Secretariat to find mutually agreeable dates for this meeting so that a senior Twitter official can attend," the Twitter spokesperson said.
"We have also offered representatives from Twitter India to come and answer questions on Monday. We await feedback from the government on both of these matters," said the statement.
The parliamentary committee on information technology, headed by Anurag Thakur (BJP), had issued summons to Twitter through a letter on February 1. It had said the head of the organisation has to appear before the panel and may be accompanied by another representative.
The 31-member parliamentary panel had also summoned representatives from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The meeting will go ahead as scheduled, sources said.
"We want to reiterate that we not only have deep respect for India's parliamentary process and we are also committed to serving the people who use Twitter in the Indian market," the statement by the microblogging site added.
Twitter had said on Friday it was proactively working with political parties to verify candidates, elected officials and relevant party officials whose accounts will be active in public conversation.