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Twitter CEO testifies to Indian parliament on efforts to combat disinformation

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Twitter CEO testifies to Indian parliament on efforts to combat disinformation

Jack Dorsey 1024
Jack Dorsey 1024
Photo: Reuters/Chris Wattie

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is scheduled to appear today before an Indian parliamentary panel for an interrogation on Twitter’s social media practices.

Members of parliament have specifically expressed concern over how social media platforms use algorithms in India and how advertisements that appear on the platform are funded. MPs are also seeking to understand if Twitter is technology-driven or a content controlling platform—to determine what extent social media sites are sending particular political messages to their users.

Of greatest concern is that the proliferation of social media in India has given rise to new ways to disseminate radical beliefs, particularly anti-Muslim messages. For example, following a suicide bombing in the town of Pulwama that caused 42 deaths, local officials noted a sharp rise in anti-Pakistan and anti-Muslim social media posts.

Expect Mr Dorsey’s questioning today to mostly focus on the data collection aspects of Twitter, such as ways data collection can be restricted and used as a political tool. Also expect some concern from MPs, particularly those with Muslim-Indian constituents, on the potential for social media in India to be used as a platform to spread xenophobic content—challenging Mr Dorsey to assuage the concerns of his questioners by reinforcing how Twitter handles so-called “hate speech” on the global level.

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Photo: REUTERS

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