Social media platforms should follow Indian law: Indian Govt

BL Internet Desk | Updated on February 11, 2021 Published on February 11, 2021

Welcome to news explained.

In today's news explained, we look at the storm brewing between Twitter and the Indian Government.

Recently Twitter has been in eye of a storm with the Indian Government over blocking of accounts.

The Indian government was riled after Twitter in a public blog post said it has taken down only half of the accounts and posts flagged by the government. Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeITY) had expressed displeasure at Twitter for failing to remove all of the over 1,100 accounts and posts it alleged spread misinformation about the widespread protests by farmers against new agricultural laws.

The government told Twitter's representatives that the microblogging site has to follow its orders and that it was not a subject matter of negotiation.

Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday said social media platforms cannot give differential treatment while handling problems on Capitol Hill and the Red Fort.

He pointed out that while social media companies took immediate action when riots broke out at Capitol Hill in Washington, they ignored similar action when farm bill protestors ran riot at Red Fort on Republic Day.

The government, he said, was committed to freedom of media and rights of individuals but it was equally concerned about safety, security, and law and order in the country.

Are there new guidelines in the making?

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information technology had suggested whether the microblogging and social media companies could be covered under the laws of the Press Council of India and FDI laws would be applicable to them.

Prasad replied saying "I am aware of the recommendations of that standing committee. I along with (Prakash) Javadedkar (Minister of Information & Broadcasting) are revisiting the guidelines. When it takes final shape, we would inform the House."

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Published on February 11, 2021