The Parliamentary standing committee on information technology, led by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, had called Twitter officials amid the company’s dispute with the government over new IT regulations.
ANI reports that the standing committee of Parliament has invited Google and Facebook representatives to appear before it on Tuesday.
Shashi Tharoor, the Congress leader who heads the committee, will hear from the companies about safeguarding citizens’ rights and preventing social media misuse.
The decision comes 10 days after Twitter officials appeared in front of the panel to discuss India’s new IT rules after the country’s new cyber laws were enacted.
The discussions centered around the content being uploaded by the users of the microblogging platform and whether it respects the law of the land. Through its counsel Ayushi Kapoor and public policy manager Shagufta Kamran, Twitter told the panel that it follows its policies.
The committee then told the representatives that the land law is “supreme” and asked the company to abide by them.
There was a feud between Twitter and the Indian government over the new IT rules at the meeting. To protect citizens, the government has asked the microblogging platform to adhere to the new regulations. Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s Twitter account was deactivated for some time due to the feud.
Twitter had already lost legal protection in India when the government stripped it of its intermediary status. This means that Twitter will not be considered a platform that is hosting people’s tweets but will be editorially responsible for the content.
In recent days, Twitter has received criticism for removing blue ticks (verification badges) from Venkaiah Naidu and many Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders. Delhi Police has also served notices in the case of the Congress toolkit.
According to India’s permanent mission to the United Nations, its new IT rules are intended to empower ordinary social media users. Before finalizing them in 2018, the government held extensive consultations with civil society and other stakeholders.
The Centre notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, on February 25, 2021. From May 26, 2021, the Rules will be in effect.