Parliamentary Panel Asks Twitter To Engage More; Summons Facebook, WhatsApp Officials
Social media apps including WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Periscope are displayed in a social media folder. (Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

Parliamentary Panel Asks Twitter To Engage More; Summons Facebook, WhatsApp Officials

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

The development was announced 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.

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. The message to Twitter was in an apparent reference to numerous complaints of interference by social media platforms in the U.S. elections, they said.

Thakur said Twitter officials replied to most questions and would submit replies to remaining queries in writing in 10 days. Sources also revealed that Thakur read out a letter addressed to him by Twitter chief executive officer Jack Dorsey during the meeting.

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

Also read: Are Parliamentary Panel’s Summons To Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Justified?

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