Twitter India has been called before Parliament’s standing committee on information technology in what is being seen as a response to concerns over fake news and representations that the platform has been proactive in shutting down pro-BJP and right-wing handles.
The complaint of political bias against Twitter India has been aired by several BJP and right-wing social media users with Delhi BJP spokesperson Tajinder Bagga organising a protest against the platform. Right-wing handles have accused Twitter India officials of bias against PM Narendra Modi, digging out tweets that they say display an anti-BJP orientation.
Committee sources said the panel will examine a range of issues, including the problems of fake news, particularly in the run-up to Lok Sabha elections. BJP spokespersons have often complained that the social media site is slack when it comes to acting against abusive behaviour of their political rivals, while being quick to suspend right-wing accounts.
Social media companies have been in touch with the Election Commission and guidelines are being worked out, but the committee is keen to examine how Twitter India is dealing with complaints of bias and fake news. The panel would like to be informed of the technological tools used to detect and filter such comment and how the firm deals with allegations of bias.
Right-wing handles have complained that the number of their followers fluctuates and they are sometimes unable to track their retweets accurately. The interaction will take place on February 11.
There have, however, been similar complaints from other users who feel Twitter is unfair to their points of view. There was a controversy during a the recent visit of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to India when he was photographed posing with a placard allegedly bashing the “Brahmin community”. The poster was given to him during an interaction with journalists and activists.
Complaints of political bias against Twitter India have been aired by BJP and right-wing social media users. Twitter India officials have been accused of bias against PM Modi, with users digging out tweets that they say display anti-BJP orientation