After Whatsapp moved to the High Court against the new IT rules set by the government, breaching the freedom of speech of citizens, Twitter has slammed the government for a similar cause. On Thursday, Twitter alleged that the Indian government is trying to “overreach with open, democratic principles” and trying to snatch freedom of speech and expression from its citizens. The platform has also mentioned that it has been forced to block some content that breaches the “legitimate freedom of speech” and fears the safety of its employees. The government of India requested to take down some tweets related to ongoing farmer’s protests earlier this month, which promoted anti-nationalist sentiments. Allegedly these tweets were written to “disturb the peace and harmony among the country.”
There is no official statement released on the ongoing feud by Twitter, but some sources indicate that these tweets were somehow related to the farmer’s protest. The government has also requested to dismantle the tweets containing “false” and “critical” information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in India as it may flicker panic among the citizens. “We maintain that the content reported in the original form is a secure, legal, and compliant statement, under Indian and international law, and we have legally transferred this to the government.… blocking in India) in response to a notification of non-compliance. Failure to do so will result in severe penalties for Twitter employees.”
Twitter slams Indian Government for breaching Freedom of speech
To protect the freedom of speech in its platform, earlier, Twitter did not take any action against the verified account. These accounts were of journalists, media person, politicians, and activists. But ironically, Twitter deleted the account of Indian actress Kangana Ranaut as she was promoting “violence” and “hate speech”. Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, has earlier admitted being “left-leaning biased” but said it won’t affect the company’s policy. But after this incident, it is clear that Twitter is entirely biased. The statement came a day after the social media platform was seen as inconsistent with new communications practices where it was required to appoint appointed officers to deal with complaints and compliance without having to disclose content where people are being slandered or sexually explicit.
The Delhi Police visited Twitter headquarters a few days ago to probe the connection of the micro-blogging site with the toolkit made by Congress against BJP. Twitter has also flagged some tweets by BJP and tagged them as ‘manipulated media.’ Ironically the same site is fighting against the Indian government for breaching the freedom of speech and expression! The platform has mentioned this move as a “dangerous overreach that dissents with democracy.” It is also worried about holding the compliance officer liable for criminal content on its platform and proactive monitoring of the tweets. The company has also shown resentment over the new law that the third-party content posted on the sites like Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram will make the platform liable for the criminal offense.
The company has shown importance for India as it is deeply concerned and striving to comply with the laws formed under these rules and regulations. It said the IT department should publish standard operating procedures in areas of the process to comply with the new IT regulations and seek public consultation. Also, it sought a three-month extension to the implementation of laws that came into effect from May 26. Meanwhile, the government of India has also accused Twitter of remaining silent and not taking any actions against anti-Indian content and fake allegations and facts against the Indian variant of COVID. But where is the lie?