The tussle between the Centre and Twitter is likely to intensify further, with Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad lashing out at the social media giant after he was denied access to his account for an hour. The minister has already rebuked Twitter on several occasions for not complying with Indian laws related to significant social media intermediaries.
Allegations against Twitter
Ravi Shankar Prasad lashed out at Twitter through a series of tweets. He said, “Friends! Something highly peculiar happened today. Twitter denied access to my account for almost an hour on the alleged ground that there was a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of the USA and subsequently they allowed me to access the account.”
Friends! Something highly peculiar happened today. Twitter denied access to my account for almost an hour on the alleged ground that there was a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of the USA and subsequently they allowed me to access the account. pic.twitter.com/WspPmor9Su
— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) June 25, 2021
He also shared a screenshot of his locked account. The minister said, “Twitter’s actions were in gross violation of Rule 4(8) of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 where they failed to provide me any prior notice before denying me access to my own account.”
“It is apparent that my statements calling out the high-handedness and arbitrary actions of Twitter, particularly sharing the clips of my interviews to TV channels and its powerful impact, have clearly ruffled its feathers.”
“Further, it is now apparent as to why Twitter is refusing to comply with the Intermediary Guidelines because if Twitter does comply, it would be unable to arbitrarily deny access to an individual’s account which does not suit their agenda.”
“Furthermore, in the past several years, no television channel or any anchor has made any complaints about copyright infringements with regard to these news clips of my interviews shared on social media.”
“Twitter’s actions indicate that they are not the harbinger of free speech that they claim to be but are only interested in running their own agenda, with the threat that if you do not toe the line they draw, they will arbitrarily remove you from their platform.”
“No matter what any platform does they will have to abide by the new IT Rules fully and there shall be no compromise on that.”
Twitter yet to comply with new IT rules
The social media giant is yet to comply with the new IT rules enacted by the Centre and lost legal protection granted to significant social media intermediaries in the country. A case has been already filed against Twitter India’s managing director in Uttar Pradesh for not removing a viral video of a Muslim man getting beaten up by a group of people.
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