Monday, August 8, 2022

Govt vs Twitter: ‘Law of the Land is supreme, not your policies,’ says panel

The Government of India has locked horns with the microblogging site after failing to comply with the new IT rules laid out by the Modi Government. Twitter was summoned by the parliamentary panel on Friday, June 18. Shagufta Kamran, Twitter India’s public policy manager, and Ayushi Kapoor, legal counsel, represented Twitter before the panel chaired by Shashi Tharoor, Congress leader and Member of the Lok Sabha.

In the panel discussion, Twitter said that it ‘stands prepared” to work with the IT Standing Committee of the Parliament on safeguarding citizens’ online rights. Twitter representatives also said, “We will keep working parallel with the Indian Government as part of the shared commitment to serve and protect the public discourse.”

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During the discussion, the panel enquired about the microblogging site if it adheres to the law of the land, to which the representatives replied, “We follow our policies.” The members of the panel firmly objected and told them, “The Law of the land is supreme and not your policy.” They observed how the policies of Twitter are on par with the rule of the land and strongly condemned it.

The Government of India and Twitter are at loggerheads since May 26, the last day for the social media giants to comply with the new rules of the IT Act, 2000. Twitter failed to show compliance with the amendments despite being given extra time to come to terms with the law. Twitter becomes the first US-based social media platform that lost its Intermediary status in the country. Twitter in India is not a platform anymore but will be considered a publisher and can be dragged into court for the content uploaded on the platform.

Recently, Uttar Pradesh Police lodged an FIR against Twitter for not flagging a video of an older man allegedly beaten up on religious differences.

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