The West Bengal elections 2021 saw Mamata Banerjee return to power with a thumping majority. Post the victory, West Bengal saw a spate of unprecedented violence by TMC against those who fought on BJP ticket and those who supported the party. Thousands fled the violence and became refugees in Assam. Now, sources in the West Bengal administration indicate that the Mamata Banerjee government has instructed a large number of social media accounts and posts, talking about the violence in Bengal, to be deleted.
Sources in West Bengal administration indicate that the Government of West Bengal recently recommended large number of social media posts for blocking under section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
According to sources, over 200 social media posts from Facebook, Twitter and Youtube for blocking by citing reasons that these posts were a potential threat to public order in the state. These social media posts comprised of posts critical of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, posts about the murder of BJP workers and various communally sensitive posts showing disrespect to Hindu and Muslim religions.
Interestingly, sources also indicate that two-thirds of the posts that are being mentioned by the Mamta government have already been clocked by the request of the central government since they promoted enmity, however, one-third of those tweets that the Mamata government now wants blocked are those which could be called political criticism.
The central government, according to sources, never recommended these tweets for blocking because political criticism cannot be considered a threat to public order.
Interestingly, while Mamta Banerjee is requesting over 200 posts and accounts to be withheld because they supposedly criticised her, she has been going hammer and tongs against the central government, critiquing them for trying to make Twitter comply with Indian laws.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerje on Thursday said the Central government is trying to bulldoze Twitter as it can’t control the microblogging platform anymore in the country.
“Unfortunately, they (the Centre) can’t control Twitter that’s why they want to bulldoze them. Similarly, they can’t control me that is why they are trying to bulldoze my government in West Bengal. They should stop this,” Mamata said in a press conference.
Social Media giant Twitter has lost its intermediary status in India for not complying with the new Information Technology Rules, which came into force on May 26, reports Times of India.
According to the reports, as Twitter India did not comply with IT rules enforced by the Indian government and failed to appoint statutory compliance officers criminally liable for the content posted on the platform within the given time, the intermediary status of the platform has automatically lapsed.
The loss of intermediary status could mean that its top executives, including the country managing director, may now face police questioning and criminal liability under IPC over “unlawful” and “inflammatory” content posted on the platform by any user. The legal immunity that was provided to Twitter over content moderation in the country is officially over now.
The Indian government is reportedly unhappy with the brazenness of the social media company, which have been continuously evading compliance with Indian rules. The government believes that repeated reminders and even the temporary relaxation that was extended to social media giant as a “goodwill gesture” has not yielded results.