Rule of land supreme, not your policy: Parliamentary panel to Twitter
Indian representatives of microblogging platform Twitter appeared before the parliamentary panel chaired by Congress' Shashi Tharoor to discuss the issue of its guidelines and the misuse of its platform. During the deposition, Twitter India's public policy manager Shagufta Kamran and legal counsel Ayushi Kapoor represented Twitter before the panel.
During the meeting, the panel asked the company, if it follows the law or the land, to which a representative responded saying, "We follow our own policies," news agency ANI reported.
The members then told Twitter that law of the land is "supreme" and asked the company to abide by them. They also asked Twitter to explain why it should not be fined for 'violating' rule of land, reported news agency PTI.
“We appreciate opportunity to share our views before Standing Committee on IT. Twitter stands prepared to work with the Committee on important work of safeguarding citizens' rights online in line with our principles of transparency, freedom of expression, and privacy," Twitter spokesperson said after the meeting, as per ANI report.
"We will also continue working alongside the Indian Government as part of our shared commitment to serve and protect the public conversation," the spokesperson also said.
The meeting comes as the Centre is at loggerheads with the microblogging site over the new Information and Technology (IT) rules. Last week, the Parliamentary standing committee on Information and Technology summoned Twitter India officials over issues related to misuse of the platform and protection of citizens' rights.
On Wednesday, Twitter became the first US-based social media platform to lose legal protection in India, meaning that the company will now be held responsible for tweets, data hosted by it. It will not be considered as a platform hosting something that somebody has tweeted, but it will be editorially responsible for the posts.
The Union government revoked the protection, saying that the social media giant failed to comply with the new IT guidelines despite being given multiple opportunities.
Earlier this month, Twitter faced backlash by government officials after it briefly removed the 'blue tick' verification badge from the personal account of vice-president Venkaiah Naidu and of several senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) functionaries, including its chief Mohan Bhagwat.
In May, a special cell of Delhi police sent a notice to Twitter, seeking an explanation of how it described an alleged "Congress toolkit" tweet against the Central government as "manipulated media".
Delhi Police is investigating a case of an alleged toolkit created by Congress to defame Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The notice was sent after Twitter tagged Bharatiya Janata Party' national spokesperson Sambit Patra's tweet on the alleged toolkit as "manipulated media".
The police reportedly had also questioned Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari on May 31 and visited the Twitter India offices in Delhi and Gurgaon on May 24 over the issue.