Twitter, the microblogging social platform has been accused by the Government of India of seeking to undermine India’s legislature and legal system as it refuses to comply with the intermediary guidelines that allow it to claim safe harbour protection from any criminal liability in Indiathe government had announced on February 25, this year.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said in a statement against Twitter, while accusing it on Thursday, May 27- “Protecting free speech in India is not the prerogative of only a private, for-profit, foreign entity like Twitter, but it is the commitment of the world’s largest democracy and its robust institutions.”
The statement further said- “Twitter’s statement is an attempt to dictate its terms to the world’s largest democracy. Through its actions and deliberate defiance, Twitter seeks to undermine India’s legal system. Furthermore, Twitter refuses to comply with those very regulations in the Intermediary Guidelines on the basis of which it is claiming a safe harbour protection from any criminal liability in India.”
The Indian Government said that the Twitter representatives in India claim that they have no authority very often. They also claim that the people of India need to give everything above to the Twitter headquarters in the U.S.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said- “The purported commitment of Twitter, to its Indian user base, thus not only sounds hollow but completely self-serving. Twitter has a large user base in India, it earns significant revenue from its Indian operations but is also the most reluctant to appoint an India based grievance redressal officer and mechanism, chief compliance officer and nodal officer to whom its own users can complain, when they are subjected to offensive Tweets.”
The ministry said that the drafted rules were put forth after thoughtful consultations with all the social media platforms and civil society along with the industrial associations and organizations, apart from the already given views and orders given by the Supreme Court. Both the parties also have parliamentary debates on the matter and recommendations to take and follow to be able to take appropriate measures.
The Ministry, in its statement said- “The Rules empower the ordinary users who become victims of defamation, morphed images, sexual abuse and the whole range of other abusive content in blatant violation of law, to seek redress.”
“Twitter needs to stop beating around the bush and comply with the laws of the land. Law making and policy formulations is the sole prerogative of the sovereign and Twitter is just a social media platform and it has no locus in dictating what India’s legal policy framework should be. Twitter has claimed that it is committed to the people of India,” the ministry concluded.