Twitter’s public policy head Colin Crowell to attend parliamentary panel on Monday

Updated on Feb 22, 2019 02:35 PM IST

For India, political advertisers that fall under the Political Campaigning Policy, people will be able to see further details, including billing information, ad spend, and impressions data per tweet. Additionally, Twitter will be showing demographic targeting data for the ads being served, both intended by the advertiser and actually delivered by Twitter.

Twitter has also set up an “internal cross functional elections group” in its efforts to protect the integrity of elections in the country.(AP File Photo)
Twitter has also set up an “internal cross functional elections group” in its efforts to protect the integrity of elections in the country.(AP File Photo)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

Over a week after a parliamentary panel summoned Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey to appear before it on February 25, the company’s global vice president for public policy, Colin Crowell will meet with the committee in India on Monday.

In a statement issued on Friday, a Twitter spokesperson said, “We thank the Parliamentary Committee for its invitation to hear Twitter’s views on ‘Safeguarding citizen rights on social/online news media platforms’. These are issues for all Internet services globally. Colin Crowell, Global Vice President of Public Policy for Twitter, will meet with the Committee on Monday.”

The company has said it does not use political ideology to rank its content or while making product or policy changes to its service, as it defends allegations of having a right-wing bias in India. “Abuse and hateful conduct comes from Twitter accounts across the ideological spectrum” and that it will continue to take action when its rules are broken. India is one of Twitter’s fastest-growing audience markets globally. Compared to those of Facebook (300 million) and WhatsApp (over 230 million), Twitter’s Indian user base of around 35 million is small.

Twitter has also set up an “internal cross functional elections group” in its efforts to protect the integrity of elections in the country.

“Similar to the model put in place for other recent elections around the world such as the US, Brazil, and Mexico, Twitter has formed an internal, cross-functional elections group to lead electoral integrity work in India from now through polling day. Using proprietary-built internal tools, the team proactively protects trends, supports partner escalations, and identifies potential threats from malicious actors,” said the company in a statement issued on Thursday.

On February 11, the parliamentary panel on information technology said it wouldn’t listen to representatives from the company who do not have the authority for decision making. At its meeting, the panel expressed concern over how algorithms are channelised in India, and has also sought to know the details about the funding of advertisements that appear on the platform, said a person familiar with the discussions.

Anurag Thakur, a BJP MP who heads the parliamentary panel on information and technology, asked IT ministry officials and Twitter representatives to be present at the meeting. He said the committee takes a serious note of Twitter’s response and would take “appropriate action on February 11.”

Crowell has said earlier that the upcoming general elections are a priority for the company. “We deeply respect the integrity of the election process and are committed to providing a service that fosters and facilitates free and open democratic debate. This is a constant process of learning and we gain insights from every election around the world, which helps inform our approach to this evolving challenge. The 2019 Lok Sabha is a priority for the company and our dedicated cross-functional team is working to ensure that the health of the public conversation is enhanced and protected at this important time,” said Crowell.

Political groups campaigning on Twitter in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections will be forced to register with the social media platform as part of tougher advertising rules designed to protect elections from foreign interference.

On Tuesday, the microblogging site said it will expand its political ads policy and transparency approach to include India, Australia and all European Union member states. “This comes as a part of Twitter’s overall commitment to protect the health of the public conversation on its service and to provide meaningful context around all political entities who use its advertising products,” the company said in a statement.

In May 2018, Twitter first launched its Political Campaigning Policy and its Ad Transparency Centre (ATC) in the United States to provide a clear insight into how the platform defines political content and who is advertising political content on Twitter. The ATC allows anyone across the globe to view ads that have been served on Twitter, with even more details on political campaigning ads, including ad spend and targeting demographics.

For India, political advertisers that fall under the Political Campaigning Policy, people will be able to see further details, including billing information, ad spend, and impressions data per tweet. Additionally, Twitter will be showing demographic targeting data for the ads being served, both intended by the advertiser and actually delivered by Twitter.

Guidelines for Indian political advertisers include a registration certificate by the Election Commission of India (ECI) for political parties registered with the ECI. Individuals or candidates contesting elections who want to publish ads on Twitter will need a government issued ID and receipt of nomination paper and notice of scrutiny.

The company said everyone can access its Ads Transparency Center even those without a Twitter account making it simple for people to have clear insight and details on who is advertising on Twitter.

Enforcement of this policy will begin on March 11, after which only certified advertisers will be allowed to run political campaigning ads on the service, the company said.

Get Latest India Newsalong with Latest Newsand Top Headlinesfrom India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, December 08, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals