Twitter Must Ensure No Foreign Influence on Elections: Parliamentary Panel

Senior exec Colin Crowell also reportedly read out a letter written by CEO Jack Dorsey on what the company was doing to safeguard election integrity and combat abuse.

New Delhi: A parliamentary committee headed by BJP MP Anurag Thakur has asked Twitter to engage more with the Election Commission (EC) and ensure that the platform is not hijacked by foreign entities aiming to influence India’s general elections this year.

According to sources, the hearing, which sought Twitter’s views on the topic of ‘Safeguarding Citizen Rights on Social/Online News Media Platforms’, went on for nearly four hours.

At the end of it though, the committee asked the Silicon Valley-based company to address any concerning issues on a “real-time” basis and “engage more” with the EC.

A statement issued to PTI quoted Thakur as saying that Twitter’s officials replied to “most” of the panel’s questions, and would provide responses to the others within the next ten days.

Also read: The Parliamentary Panel Will Reinforce Bias on Twitter, Not Fix It

As The Wire earlier reported, the run-up to the parliamentary hearing sparked public debate on whether the committee wanted to take Twitter to task for its alleged bias against “nationalist” and right-wing users.

These concerns were exacerbated after the panel refused to meet with Twitter’s India representatives and insisted on the presence of CEO Jack Dorsey or any other global official.

At the time, Thakur tweeted that the committee had taken “very serious note” of Dorsey’s inability to make a trip to India.

According to one source, the hearing did not dwell overly on allegations of political bias.

Crowell also reportedly read out a written letter by Dorsey, which elaborated on what Twitter is doing to safeguard election integrity and deal with online abuse.