Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey is being summoned by an Indian Parliamentary panel that wants him to appear later in February.
According to a report in Reuters, the panel is summoning Dorsey after he failed to attend a hearing in the country looking at the rights of citizens on social media. As a result, the parliamentary committee on information technology made the move to summon him to appear on February 25.
“We had summoned the global CEO, he did not appear but sent junior executives,” said Anurag Thakur, a lawmaker from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party during a press conference, reported Reuters. The panel took the executive’s absence “very seriously,” according to the report, and if Dorsey still failed to appear, “Twitter would be seen as breaching parliamentary privilege.” The panel and Twitter were expected to meet and discuss ways to ensure citizens rights were protected when using social media.
India, which is one of the world’s largest internet markets, has been stepping up its regulations against U.S. companies operating in the country. Earlier this month new eCommerce rules went into effect that forced Amazon and Walmart to overhaul their business structures. In the past India changed the rules to mandate Mastercard and Visa store data on Indian citizens locally. Now, social media companies are getting extra attention with general elections slated for May. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking another term. Companies are working to change policies to stem the flow of misinformation leading up to the election.
Twitter has also faced criticism that it has a left-wing bias, with the Youth for Social Media Democracy, which backs the right wing of the party, making those allegations. The group recently held a protest outside Twitter’s office over the perceived bias, reported Reuters. “No action is being taken against LW (left-wing) accounts who are regularly posting offensive, abusive, violence inciting, threat & death wish tweets even when they are found violating Twitter rules,” the YSMD said in a document that it gave the panel. Twitter dismissed those claims saying it “does not review, prioritize, or enforce its policies on the basis of political ideology,” reported Reuters.