Twitter has found itself in a stand-off with the government after it refused to fully comply with last week’s government order to remove some accounts.
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday addressed the worsening Centre-Twitter relationship, reiterating that the social media platform has to respect the law of the land.
Twitter has found itself in a stand-off with the government after it refused to fully comply with last week’s government order to remove some accounts, including those of news organizations, journalists, activists and politicians, citing its “principles of defending protected speech and freedom of expression.”
“We have flagged Twitter and is in dialogue with them. Why is it that when police has to act in U.S. Capitol Hill they stand in support, but when a similar action is taken at Red Fort, they oppose it? Why this double standard?”
Speaking in Rajya Sabha, Mr. Prasad said that social media cannot be used to propagate hate. “We respect social media. It has empowered common people. We respect criticism… you can criticise even the Prime Minister. But if social media is used to propagate hate, action will be taken. You cannot spread hate messages like ‘PM harassed farmers’,” he said.
Mr. Prasad, who heads the Ministry of Law and Justice, said he is in talks with Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar on revisiting social media guidelines.
“When you become a platform, you make your own law and India’s laws will have no place in it? That is not how it works. You bring money and do business, but you have to respect the law of the land. Whether it is Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, I have a message for all of you — come, work in India, earn money, but you will have to follow India’s laws,” said Mr. Prasad.