Twitter India summoned before IT Parliamentary Committee over ‘safeguarding citizen’s rights’

Social network Twitter India has been summoned before the Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology over discussing the issue of ‘safeguarding citizen’s rights’ on the platform. The meeting will be held on February 11 at 3 pm in New Delhi and includes officials from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY).

The meeting will be headed by BJP leader Anurag Thakur and the panel will discuss a range of issues concerning the use of social media.

Thakur has further invited suggestions from the general public.

This arrives after Youth for Social Media Democracy, a right-wing group, protested outside its office alleging that the company was blocking right-wing accounts.

Few of the members had also written to Thakur, news agency PTI reported. The protesters alleged that the social media platform did not keep an adequate check on abusive behaviour from their political rivals, but was quick in suspending right-wing accounts.

ALSO READ: UN Special Rapporteur to Twitter CEO: Provide details of request by GoI regarding blocking Kashmir related content 

Both the social media giants, Facebook and Twitter have been blocking Kashmir related content lately. Recently, Facebook has, once again, censored Kashmir related content by taking down prominent page, ‘Lost Kashmiri History’, which documents past historical events, from its portal.

In a similar incident, in October, Facebook removed online Kashmir-based magazine, Wande Magazine’s page from its portal.

In the post, the founder, Irfan Mehraj, who is also the editor of the magazine, stated that, while logging into the website at 7 PM IST, he had received a notification that the magazine’s page ‘went against Facebook’s community standards’ and had been thus removed from the site.

He also said that he had been blocked by Facebook from his personal page for posting or sharing information for 24 hours. “I was not able to like, comment, share and respond to messages owing to this ban,” he wrote.

ALSO READ: Google and Facebook censoring Kashmir? Leaked document ‘good censor’ might have clues

Recently, the Facebook page of Free Press Kashmir was unpublished by the social media platform for nearly 48 hours.

Recently, Facebook took down news portal Kashmir Walla’s video featuring scholar-turned-militant Mannan Wani’s father’s voice in the background.

Mannan Wani along with his associate Ashiq Hussain Zargar of Tulwari Langate were killed in a gunfight with the Indian armed forces in the Shatgund area of Handwara town.

Mannan being a Phd scholar rose to fame after he joined Hizb ranks in January this year. After his killing, some rare photographs of Mannan surfaced, and social media was flooded with content.

Over the past one year, the social media giant headed by Mark Zuckerberg has been embroiled in controversies ranging from censoring posts and user accounts in 2016, for poorly handling user account information by being susceptible to breaches or letting third parties use such information as tools for analysing voter tendencies.

A documentary series by Channel 4 Dispatches has revealed that moderators at Facebook are protectingfar-right activists by preventing their pages from getting deleted even after they violate the rules set up by the social media giant.

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