Published: 15th June 2021
What The FAQ: What will Twitter and the Modi government discuss on June 18?
The final agenda says that the panel will “hear the views of representatives of Twitter followed by evidence of representatives Ministry of Electronics and IT"
The Modi government and Twitter have been locking horns on the new IT rules for a long time now. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology has now called the representatives of the micro-blogging site and officials of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on June 18 to discuss the issues.
What will they discuss?
Reportedly, the two parties under the mediation of the committee will discuss the new IT rules and concerns that have developed recently like the manipulated media controversy and Twitter’s India offices being raided and their officials being questioned by the Delhi Police and majorly the intermediary guidelines of the IT rules. The final agenda says that the panel will “hear the views of representatives of Twitter followed by evidence of representatives of the Ministry of Electronics and IT on the subject safeguarding citizens rights and prevention of misuse of social/online news media platforms, including special emphasis on women security in digital space”.
Who will be present?
The IT panel is chaired by Congress's Shashi Tharoor. Along with the Kerala MP, other panel members, Twitter officials and the MeitY officials will be present.
Why did the committee have to intervene?
The tussle has been going on since February when the IT ministry asked them to block some content that was alleging that PM Modi’s administration was trying to "silence criticism related to farmers’ protests in the country". Then, India announced new IT rules to "make social media firms more accountable" to legal requests for the removal of posts. They also wanted an Indian grievance officer to deal with complaints.
Twitter called some posts by BJP leaders “manipulated media” and this led to some tough comments from the government. While Twitter removed blue-ticks for Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu and RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat, the Delhi Police raided its offices to no avail.