Twitter CEO and senior officials of the company have refused to appear before the Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology on February 11, citing “short notice” of the hearing.
The Committee had called Twitter via an official letter on February 1 to discuss issues concerning the use of social media.
The letter sent to Twitter by the Parliamentary Committee stated: “It may be noted that the Head of the Organisation has to appear before the Committee”, sources said.
It further stated that “He/She may be accompanied by another representative,” the sources added.
The Committee has also called officials of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) for the meeting.
The Committee meeting was scheduled to be held on February 7 and later postponed to February 11 to allow the Twitter CEO and senior officials more time to make themselves available, the sources said.
Twitter cited “short notice of the hearing” as their reason despite being given 10 days to travel, they added.
The Committee received a letter on February 7 from Vijaya Gadde, Twitters global lead for Legal, Policy, Trust and Safety stating that “No one who engages publicly for Twitter India makes enforcement decisions with respect to our rules for content or accounts in India.”
Deputing a junior employee to represent Twitter at the Parliamentary IT Committee has not gone down well with Indian lawmakers especially since they have no decision making authority as stated in the Twitter letter by Gadde.
“The lack of seriousness and disregard shown by Twitterto India’s Parliament is not new. Social Media Tech CEO’s have evaded answers and tried to avoid Parliamentary hearings in Singapore and the US Congress previously,” a source noted.
This comes at a time when there are growing concerns about safeguarding citizens data privacy and election interference through social media platforms.