The CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, has been summoned by MPs in India, one of the fastest growing markets for his network, which claims 126 million daily users worldwide. By one estimate, more than a sixth of its users come from here. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is one of the most followed leaders on the social network.
A 31-member panel of MPs wants Dorsey to appear before it on February 25 to get his views on "safeguarding citizens' rights on social/online news media platform," reports the BBC. The panel is led by Anurag Thakur, an MP belonging to Modi's ruling BJP. Twitter appears to have been singled out for this unusual meeting.
The timing of the "summons" to Dorsey is worth noting.
With crucial summer elections looming, right-wingers on Twitter have been complaining that the network is banning accounts supportive of the BJP. Pro-government TV networks reported that the MPs had actually summoned Twitter officials over "allegations of bias", something which was not stated in the government's official communication with the network.
BJP spokesman Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga weighed in, promoting a hashtag called #ProtestAgainstTwitter:
Others have joined in, accusing Twitter of bias and an "authoritarian" stance.
And last week, members of a group who call themselves Youth for Social Democracy gathered outside the local office of Twitter near Delhi to protest, saying Twitter had "acquired an anti-right wing" attitude.
"They block our accounts and impressions of the tweets," one protester said.
Twitter has responded, saying that the network did not act against users based on their ideology.
"To be clear, we do not review, prioritise or enforce our policies on the basis of political ideology. Every tweet and every account is treated impartially. We apply our policies fairly and judiciously for all," says Colin Crowell, who leads public policy, governance and corporate philanthropy efforts at the network.