Twitter Loses Intermediary Status In India
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Popular micro-blogging site Twitter has lost its intermediary status after failing to comply with the new information technology rules which came into force on May 26. Twitter has been locking horns with the Indian government since the Republic Day violence caused due to the farmers' protest.
However, the latest tipping point of growing indifference between the government and Twitter comes after the government of India on February 25 this year enacted the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 to regulate social media intermediaries and over-the-top (OTT) platforms.
Any social media intermediary if fails to comply with the new guidelines, then the company will be stripped of the protection accorded under Section 79. Social media companies will then be held accountable and even booked for any unlawful content posted by a third party.
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad of the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) took to Twitter and said that the micro-blogging site has failed to comply with the Intermediary Guidelines even after it was given multiple opportunities. He castigated the platform and said that Twitter which portrays itself as a flag bearer of free speech has deliberately chosen to not follow the guidelines and has even failed to address the grievance of users by refusing to set up processes as mandated by law of the land. He further accused Twitter of labeling manipulated media tags when it suits Twitter’s likes and dislikes.
“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?,” he questioned.
The minister further stressed that any foreign entity portraying itself as the flag bearer of free speech in India to excuse itself from complying with the law of the land and called such attempts ‘misplaced.’
The report of Twitter losing its intermediary status comes in the backdrop of Twitter along with few journalists booked by Uttar Pradesh police in connection with the circulation of a video where an elderly Muslim man can be seen narrating his ordeal after he was allegedly attacked by some people in Ghaziabad.