New Delhi: Attacking Twitter over non-compliance with new IT rules, Information and Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said no foreign entity in India can portray as the flag bearer of free speech to excuse itself from complying with the law of the land.
Twitter has deliberately chosen the path of non-compliance even after it had given multiple opportunities to comply with the same, he said in series of tweets today.
“Indian companies be it pharma, IT or others that go to do business in USA or 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?” the Minister tweeted.
Citing the “Open Societies statement” which India signed off with G-7 and the guest countries recently, the Minister said, “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.”
However, “if any foreign entity believes that it 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,” he said.
He further 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, its failure to act in multiple cases like UP is perplexing & indicates its inconsistency in fighting misinformation.”
“Further, what is perplexing is that Twitter fails to address the grievances of users by refusing to set up process as mandated by the law of the land. Additionally, it chooses a policy of flagging manipulates media, only when it suits, its likes and dislikes,” he said.
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.
The culture of India varies like its large geography. In certain scenarios, with the amplification of social media, even a small spark can cause a fire, especially with the menace of fake news. This was one of the objectives of bringing the Intermediary Guidelines, he said.
Further, Twitter was given multiple opportunities to comply with the same, however, it has deliberately chosen the path of non-compliance.
“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,” he added.