Miffed over Twitter’s non-compliance with government’s orders to take action against the handles spreading hate against India, IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday said that the double standard of the social media platforms will not be allowed in India. “Be it Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Whatsapp, action will be taken if these platforms are misused,” the union minister said while replying to a host of answers during the Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha.
Prasad furthered that if these companies want to work and tap the Indian market, they are welcome to do so, but they would have to comply with the Indian laws and the Constitution. “Work in India. You have crores of followers here. Make money but you will have to abide by Indian laws and the Constitution,” the minister said.
Irate by Twitter’s brazenness in complying with the Indian government’s orders to take action against those Twitter handles which have been spreading anti-India propaganda, Prasad said: We have now flagged Twitter. Our department has engaged with Twitter. That’s why I didn’t want to comment on this issue outside and chose the House to raise these questions. What is the issue that when there is violence in US Capitol Hill, social media platforms stand by police investigation but when Red Fort is breached, the same platforms go against the Indian government? Red Fort is the symbol of our pride. We won’t allow this double standard.”
“What is this? You are trending hashtags supporting massacre, genocide?” the minister asked.
Furthering that the Indian Govt has immense respect for social media as it has a big role to play in the Digital India programme, Prasad added that, however, if these platforms are used to spread fake news and propagate violence against India, the Government would be forced to take action against it.
IT Minister RS Prasad irked over Twitter’s defiance
Earlier, we reported that RS Prasad had refused to meet Twitter officials after the social media giant refused to take action the anti-India and Khalistani accounts.
Earlier this week, the centre had issued a new notice to Twitter directing it to block 1,178 accounts found to be from Pakistan peddling Khalistani secessionism. This was an addition to the government’s earlier notice asking them to ban 257 anti-India social media accounts for making hate speech.
The misuse of the social media platform for spreading anti-India propaganda, provocative content and misinformation had irked the Union government. The government believes that the said Twitter accounts have the potential to cause a threat to public order.
Twitter fails to comply with Indian government notice
However, Twitter showed its reluctance to comply with the central government’s notice under Section 69A of the IT Act. The social media site has banned only some handles, and Twitter said it would not be taking action against any media, journalists, activists, and politicians despite the government’s notice.