On Monday a parliamentary panel asked some Twitter executives to assure that content on the social media platform supports for a “free and fair” Lok Sabha elections and that it does not face allegations of bias or politically motivated malpractices. According to the latest norms framed by the Election Commission of India (ECI), Twitter may be asked to go silent for 48 hours in areas where polls are being conducted.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology also advised Twitter to speak with the Election Commission officials and ensure “real-time compliance” in accordance with the latest guidelines concerned with free and fair elections.
Colin Crowell, the global Vice President of Public Policy of Twitter, deposed before the Parliamentary Committee that was headed by BJP MP Anurag Thakur. The meeting is said to have lasted for about three-and-a-half hours. Some sources say that he answered a few questions and promised to get back with answers to others within the next 10 days.
“The Lok Sabha elections should be free and fair. There should not be any kind of complaints like in the US,” Thakur told press reporters after the meeting concluded. Thakur also said that Twitter officials have been suggested to meet the officials of Election Commission. “There should be real-time compliance,” he added.
The meeting comes right after a complaint was filed to the panel testifying that there was some “anti-rightwing” bias on Twitter. In the past, technology executives have appeared before the US lawmakers over allegations of political influence activity on their sites that are related to user privacy. Thakur said that public policy heads of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram have been asked to appear before the parliamentary panel on 6th of March.