IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday said Twitter has “deliberately” defied and failed to comply with intermediary guidelines.
Slamming the micro-blogging platform over non-compliance, Prasad said that 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.
“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 26 May,” Prasad said in a series of posts on homegrown microblogging platform Koo.
The minister also tweeted on the issue.
“Further, what is perplexing is that Twitter fails to address the grievances of users by refusing to setting up process as mandated by the law of the land. Additionally, it chooses a policy of flagging manipulated media, only when it suits, its likes and dislikes,” he said.
The minister said that what happened in Uttar Pradesh was illustrative of Twitter’s “arbitrariness” in fighting fake news. An FIR has been filed against Twitter over an incident in Ghaziabad’s Loni where an elderly man was allegedly assaulted.
Prasad said that Indian companies, be it pharma or IT or others that go to do business in the US or in other countries overseas, 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 questioned.
In a major setback to Twitter, the microblogging platform has lost its ‘safe harbour’ protection in India over non-compliance with IT rules and failure to appoint key personnel mandated under the new guidelines.
It will now be liable for action under IPC for third party unlawful content.
Earlier this month, the government had given one last chance to Twitter to comply with the new IT rules and had issued a stern warning that failure to adhere to the norms will lead to the platform losing exemption from liability under the IT Act.
IT Ministry had questioned Twitter over not providing information about the Chief Compliance Officer as required under the rules.