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IT Committee Summons Facebook & Google Over Women Safety, Misuse of Platforms on Tuesday

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

Twitter is not going to be present at the Parliamentary Standing Committee for information and technology headed by Dr Shashi Tharoor.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee for information and technology will be meeting on Tuesday at 4 pm to discuss the issue of the safety of women on social media and how to protect its misuse.

Officials from multi-blogging site Facebook and Google will depose before the committee led by Dr Shashi Tharoor. The meeting comes in the backdrop of a massive face-off between the BJP-led central government and microblogging site Twitter, which is yet to accept and follow the intermediary guidelines set up by the Union government.

The recent act by Twitter to lock the account of IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has not gone down too well with a lot of quarters and IT committee Chairman Dr Shashi Tharoor had said that he would raise the matter with Twitter. He may update the committee as he has written to Twitter in this regard but raising the matter on the floor of the committee is unlikely given the fact that Twitter is not going to be present in the meeting.

The committee meeting tomorrow is in continuation with the theme of how women can be protected on social media where they often receive all kinds of threats, including threats of rape and death.

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The committee in its last meeting had called social media giant Twitter to present its view on the matter. In that meeting, Twitter defended its stand saying that they were taking all the necessary action to ensure women’s safety and they had a strong policy in place. However, the argument took a different term when MPs across the platform slammed Twitter for not following the guidelines set up by the central government.

Another meeting has been scheduled on the same subject on July 6, where the IT Ministry officials could be present before the committee.

Apart from Dr Tharoor, some of the other members who regularly present in the meeting include senior BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, former Minister for I&B Colonel Rajyavardhan Rathore, Bangalore South MP from BJP Tejashwi Surya, TMC MP Mahua Moitra, TDP MP Jay Galla, Congress MP Karti Chidambaram among others.

Whether it is on the issues of Twitter versus the government or restoration of 4G in Jammu and Kashmir or debate over censorship, there is always been a bitter argument between the BJP and the Congress-led Opposition in the meeting led by a war of words between Tharoor and Nishikant Dubey.

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first published:June 28, 2021, 20:34 IST