Indian companies be it pharma, IT or others that go to do business in USA or in other foreign countries, voluntarily follow the local laws. Then why are platforms like Twitter showing reluctance in following Indian laws designed to give voice to the victims of abuse and misuse?— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) June 16, 2021
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday justified Twitter losing legal protection in India from prosecution over users' posts. He said that the microblogging platform deliberately chose to not comply with the new IT rules despite getting multiple opportunities.
“There are numerous queries arising as to whether Twitter is entitled to safe harbour provision. However, the simple fact of the matter is that Twitter has failed to comply with the Intermediary Guidelines that came into effect from the 26th of May,” the Union IT Minister tweeted.
In a series of tweets, Prasad came down hard on the microblogging site and questioned its reluctance in following the new digital rules. “It is astounding that Twitter which portrays itself as the flag bearer of free speech, chooses the path of deliberate defiance when it comes to the Intermediary Guidelines,” he wrote in a post.
He also targeted the social media giant over a First Information Report (FIR) that has been filed against it in UP. It refers to tweets that the police say attempted to incite communal trouble, according to an NDTV report.
According to the report, a man in UP’s Ghaziabad had alleged that his beard was cut off and he was forced to chant "Vande Matram" and "Jai Shri Ram" by a group that assaulted him. The UP police say he had lied and that it was not a communal incident as implied in tweets.
The report added that the police say they shared a press release on the night of June 14 on Twitter giving details and refuting the communal angle. But Twitter did not act and the tweets were not deleted, they said.
Reacting to the incident, Prasad said, “What happened in UP was illustrative of Twitter’s arbitrariness in fighting fake news. While Twitter has been over enthusiastic about its fact checking mechanism, it’s failure to act in multiple cases like UP is perplexing & indicates its inconsistency in fighting misinformation.”
He added that the rule of law is the “bedrock of Indian society”. India’s commitment to the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech was yet again reaffirmed at the G7 summit, Prasad said.
“However, if any foreign entity believes that they can portray itself as the flag bearer of free speech in India to excuse itself from complying with the law of the land, such attempts are misplaced,” Prasad said in another tweet.