Jack Dorsey, chief executive officer and co-founder of Square Inc., speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in San Francisco. (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey To Not Attend Parliamentary Panel On Feb. 25

Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey will not appear before the Parliamentary panel on information technology on Feb. 25, and instead the company is sending its Head of Public Policy Colin Crowell.

The Parliamentary panel on IT had summoned Twitter head Jack Dorsey to appear before it on Feb. 25, and had refused to meet "junior officials" of the microblogging site during its meeting on Feb. 11.

The meeting had been called against the backdrop of growing concerns about safeguarding citizens' data privacy and the possibility of social media platforms being used to interfere in the upcoming elections.

"We thank the Parliamentary committee for its invitation to hear Twitter's views on “safeguarding citizen rights on social/online news media platforms”. These are issues for all Internet services globally," a Twitter spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement.

"Colin Crowell, global vice president of Public Policy for Twitter, will meet with the committee on Monday," the statement added.

Ahead of the Lok Sabha election, the government has been warning social media platforms of strong action if any attempt was made to influence the country's electoral process through undesirable means.

Sources said on Feb. 11, the committee had refused to meet junior officials from Twitter's India office who were present at the meeting venue.

Also read: Twitter Forms Internal Team For Upholding Electoral Integrity On Platform In India

The panel passed an unanimous resolution that the microblogging site's CEO should make himself available to show the company's seriousness in safeguarding rights of Indian citizens online, they added.

As per the resolution, the panel would hear only the Twitter CEO or senior member of its global team "who has decision making authority regarding Twitter's operations in India," one of the sources had said.

Even as it faces heat over allegations of political bias in the country, Twitter has maintained that it is committed to remain unbiased and that its product as well as policies are never based on political ideology.

The government has been taking a strong view of misuse of social media platforms and is also proposing to amend IT rules to curb fake news and increase accountability of such apps.

Over the last few weeks, Facebook, Twitter and Google have promised to infuse more transparency into political advertisements on their platform, and announced a slew of measures as part of their election integrity efforts.

On Thursday, Twitter said it has formed an internal, cross-functional group to lead "electoral integrity work" in India that will proactively support partner escalations, and identify potential threats from malicious actors.

The U.S.-based company had also stated that its teams are working closely with political parties across the spectrum to train them on using Twitter to best engage with their constituents.

Also read: Not Just Twitter, IT Panel May Summon Google, Facebook Bosses Too