Twitter has decided to skip the summons issued by the Parliamentary Panel on IT to clarify the allegations of bias that have been made against it of bias with regards to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Tajinder Pal Bagga , a Delhi BJP spokesperson accused Twitter of holding political bias as well as hurt the religious sentiments of people.
He said, "Past 15 days, five of our accounts were suspended. When Ankur Singh's account was suspended, there were no abuses or anything vulgar, we asked Twitter the reason to them, then 20,000 people tweeted and in that pressure, Twitter had to restore the account."
"Twitter gave the reason that this was a mistake. Can mistakes of such sorts from such a big company towards one party over and over can happen?" he added.
The BJP spokesperson further accused Twitter of showing bias towards Congress party.
He said, "You might remember when Hima Das won a medal for India, Harshal Purohit congratulated her through a tweet saying that she is taking ahead of the 'Beti Bachao, Beti Badhao' slogan, there were 28 retweets and his account was blocked on account of copyright violations. But the same video was tweeted by Rahul Gandhi that was re-tweeted 25,000 times but his account was not blocked. If Twitter says we don't do this manually then action should be taken on both the accounts."
"If you see the tweets of the Twitter India Head against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, they are abusive. But that's political," he added.
He further drew an attack on the social media network of misusing 'freedom of speech' and hurting the sentiments of people's beliefs.
He said, "But apart from that the Lord that resides in the soul of India, the pictures of deities tied to a tree and beaten up was shared for which we filed a complaint, Twitter said its freedom of speech. But this is not freedom of speech, you cannot insult to deities in this way."
Twitter has responded exclusively to Republic TV's questionnaire following the news break
The following is the statement issued to Republic by a Twitter spokesperson reproduced in full:
"We appreciate and respect the Committee’s focus on the issues of user safety and user rights. We understand the Committee’s interest in these issues and the importance of hearing from multiple stakeholders regarding the implications for users of social media in India. We have indicated that we are willing to participate in such a broad hearing process
Given the short notice of the hearing, we informed the Committee that it would not be possible for senior officials from Twitter to travel from the United States to appear on Monday. Our CEO, Jack Dorsey, and other senior Twitter executives visited India in recent weeks because it is an important market for Twitter and we value the growing interest in Twitter in India.
We have suggested that we work with the Lok Sabha Secretariat to find mutually agreeable dates for this meeting so that a senior Twitter official can attend. We have also offered representatives from Twitter India to come and answer questions on Monday. We await feedback from the government on both of these matters.
We want to reiterate that we not only have deep respect for India’s parliamentary process and we are also committed to serving the people who use Twitter in the Indian market."