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Twitter India deposes before parliamentary panel over preventing social media misuse

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Representatives of Twitter India Pvt. Ltd. deposed before Congress leader Shashi Tharoor-led parliamentary committee over preventing misuse of social media. Twitter India’s public policy manager Shagufta Kamran and legal counsel Ayushi Kapoor represented the microblogging platform.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Technology, chaired by Tharoor, had last week summoned Twitter over issues related to misuse of the platform and protection of citizens’ rights.

The development comes at a time when Twitter may have lost its social media intermediary status for not complying with India’s revised IT rules that came into effect on May 26. Earlier this month, the Centre issued a notice to Twitter, giving it one last chance to “immediately” comply with guidelines, as a failure to do so will result in losing exemption from liability under the Information Technology Act. Consequently, police complaints are now being filed against the American company for objectionable content on its platform.

Previously, Twitter had faced backlash when it briefly removed the ‘blue tick’ verification badge from the personal account of Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu and of several senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) functionaries, including its chief Mohan Bhagwat.

Earlier, Delhi Police had sent a notice to Twitter, seeking an explanation of how it described an alleged “Congress toolkit” against the central government as manipulated media.

The police reportedly had also questioned Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari on May 31 and visited the Twitter India offices in Delhi and Gurgaon on May 24 over the toolkit issue.

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