Anurag Thakur-led parliamentary committee summons Twitter officials to probe complains of being biased

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First Published 5, Feb 2019, 8:09 PM IST
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Anurag Thakur-led parliamentary committee summons Twitter officials to probe complains of being biased
Highlights

The BJP leader tweeted that the social media giant was summoned to probe the alleged violation of citizen's rights. The meeting is expected to take place on February 11 (Monday) at 3 pm. 

New Delhi: The parlimentary committee on information technology, led by Anurag Thakur, has summoned Twitter officials and officials from the ministry of electronics and information technology after a citizens’ forum alleged that the social media platform was biased against Right-wing accounts. 

The BJP leader tweeted that the social media giant was summoned to examine the issue. The meeting is expected to take place on February 11 (Monday) at 3 pm. 
Earlier, Thakur asked common people for opinions on citizen data security. Anyone could send suggestions or concerns to comit@sansad.nic.in. 

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The move came just a few days after the citizens’ forum submitted a document to Thakur. 

The government's move is significant as just days before, the 'Youth for Social Media Democracy' (YSMD) — an outfit which espouses a right-of-center ideology on Twitter — protested outside the company's office in Delhi's Lado Sarai. 

The protestors alleged that the social networking service behaves in a politically biased way towards the left and center ideology. However, Twitter has rubbished the claims. 
In a press release issued before the protest, YSMD alleged, "The instance of such strong political biases during an election year is an attempt to influence India’s elections, which violates the right to free and fair elections, which is (sic) a fundamental ethos of Indian Democracy. Rules must be consistently applied without any such biases, however, there are repeated instances (sic) of such biases when it comes to reporting accounts or verification of them."

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One protestor Ankur Singh told MyNation, "My Twitter handle was suspended without any reason. I didn't violate any Twitter rules. When many outraged at the move by trending #BringBackAnkurSingh, Twitter sent an apology the next day. But there are many handles which were blocked and continue to remain blocked". 

However, Twitter in a statement dismissed such allegations, "Earlier today, there was a peaceful protest outside our Delhi office. We welcome feedback of our service and respect people using their voices to be heard. We have one set of Rules which outline the behaviors we allow on Twitter. We have a global team responsible for enforcing these Rules, and this team does not make decisions on the basis of ideological or political viewpoints -- it is fundamentally against our values as a company. We enforce our policies equally and without bias.”

However, one thing we citizens can be sure about is that this is not the last time we will be hearing on the matter considering the fact that technology will play a decisive role on how people will vote in the crucial 2019 poll. 

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