Social Media

Respect Indian Constitution, Prasad to Twitter

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 11, 2021

Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of elecommunications and IT.   -  BusinessLine

Union Cabinet Minister for Information Technology and Law Ravi Shankar Prasad told Rajya Sabha on Thursday that his ministry and the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry are working on guidelines for the social media platforms. The work is in progress, he said, and urged social media platforms to respect India’s Constitution.

"We respect social media. It has empowered common people," he said and added that the Centre will not allow misuse of social media for spreading violence. "We have formed a platform to bust fake news. We appreciate their works of social media platforms here, but they must respect the Constitution of India," he said.

 

He said the Centre is in touch with Twitter over recent controversies. "We have had a meeting with Twitter. If Capitol Hill is attacked and US Police takes action, these microblogging companies stand with them. But if Red Fort is attacked, they stand with protesters. This double standard will not be allowed. Freedom of speech is subject to reasonable restrictions because of the sovereignty and integrity of India. What is the reason for the hashtags such as Narendra Modi massacre of farmers," he said.

He said the Centre is aware of the standing committee recommendations for creating a set of guidelines. "The Ministries of IT and Information Broadcasting will review the guidelines soon. The platforms cannot make a law of their own where the Constitution has no place. They are welcome to do business here, but they must work within the Constitution of India," he said.

He maintained that the Centre is committed to freedom of speech. "This Government is led by leaders who have fought for freedom of individuals, media and independence of judiciary particularly during Emergency. Our commitment to freedom of media is total. We are equally concerned about the safety, security and sovereignty of India," he said.

He said the Centre will also address the issues of privacy when we come up with guidelines. "The work is in progress. I would urge the social media to measure the unbridled exposure on the standards of your own guidelines and take action," he said.

Published on February 11, 2021

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