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Ahead of Parliamentary meet, Twitter said it was passionate to serve the Indian users 

File photo. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 13, 2019, 05.11 PM (IST)

Days before the Twitter representative was summoned by the Parliamentary Committee in India to answer accusations of alleged bias against "nationalist" accounts, the social media had released a blog stating that it was passionate to serve the users in the country and was committed to the principles of openness, transparency and impartiality.

Twitter had been summoned by the committee on February 11 but the company had declined to appear saying the notice was too short. The summons had been sent out on February 1. 

The committee head and BJP MP Anurag Thakur on February 5 had tweeted about the agenda of the February 11 Parliamentary meet as examining the issue of "safeguarding citizens'' rights on social/online news media platforms".

Over the last few months, social media players like Facebook, Twitter and Google have promised to infuse more transparency into political advertisements on their platform, and have since announced a slew of measures as part of election integrity efforts.

In the blog released on February 8, Twitter had repeatedly clarified that its product and policies were not influenced by any political ideology.

The blog stated that the company had made over 70 product, policy and operational changes since the beginning of 2018 to make people feel safe.

Citing that mistakes can happen, the blog said that these mistakes were not political statements of intent, they were "basic human error rate of running the fastest, most open conversational tool in history".

The blog also assured that the company had a specialised global team to enforce the Twitter Rules with impartiality.

Speaking about the trending topics the blog said that the trends were based on regular speculation and the topics trending have been popular for a while or on a daily basis.

It further added that the trends are not determined by the total number of Tweets on a topic alone but also the number of Tweets in a given time period (i.e. velocity), which is not necessarily related to the total number of Tweets (i.e. volume).

It also stated that "very rare instances" where Twitter prevents certain content from trending is when trends contain profanity or adult/graphic references, incite hate on the basis of a protected characteristic, or violate the Twitter Rules. 

It reiterated that political ideology had never been the reason for preventing trending topics.

Last year Twitter had updated the follower counts of every account and had removed a significant number of inactive accounts. The social networking site said it would continue to proactively identify and challenge problematic accounts globally.

In the wake of the Lok Sabha elections the company said it was working with Indian political parties to verify candidates, elected officials and relevant party officials.

Story highlights

In the blog released on February 8, Twitter had repeatedly clarified that its product and policies were not influenced by any political ideology.