Twitter India has failed to respond to the notice sent by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Technology, reported News 18. The micro-blogging site was given a period of 48 hours to respond in writing about the locking of the accounts of Minister for IT Ravi Shankar Prasad and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor.
Twitter blocks Ravi Shankar Prasad
On June 25, the micro-blogging site Twitter again came under the scanner for blocking Union Minister of Law and Justice, Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad (RS Prasad) for allegedly violating the copyright act of the United States of America. The action against him was taken in connection to a video that he posted on Vijay Diwas in 2017 and had allegedly used copyrighted music ‘Maa Tujhe Salam.’
This information came to the fore after Twitter published the Lumen data where it showed clearly that it was based on this post that access to Ravi Shankar Prasad’s Twitter handle was blocked on June 25, 2021. The post by RS Prasad that used Maa Tujhe Salaam as the background music was flagged as a copyright violation by the International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI) as can be seen from the ‘sender’ information on the DMCA notice. The post was reported by Sony Music Entertainment.
Parliamentary Committee pulls up Twitter
The Parliamentary Panel for IT headed by senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor had directed the Secretariat to seek an explanation from Twitter in writing regarding the locking of the accounts of Minister for IT Ravi Shankar Prasad and Shashi Tharoor. Twitter was asked to submit an explanation within two days. In the absence of a satisfactory answer from Twitter, the Committee can summon an official from the company.
Shashi Tharoor said, “As Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, I can state that we will be seeking an explanation from @TwitterIndia for the locking of @rsprasad’s & my accounts & the rules & procedures they follow while operating in India.” Twitter has been going through a tough time since the passage of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021. Following its refusal to obey Indian laws, it has lost its intermediary status after which multiple FIRs have been filed against the platform.