Union minister for Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday issued a stern warning to social media giants Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and WhatsApp saying fake news and spread of hate would not be tolerated on social media and they will have to adhere to the law of land.
While speaking during the Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, he said facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp etc. are welcome to work in India. They have crores of followers but they will have to adhere to the Indian Constitution and laws.
He also accused these social media platforms of double standards. He said they stood with the police action during capitol Hill violence and had a different approach to the same when violence erupted at Red Fort. He added we have made a platform to bust misinformation and all fake news items will be flagged by the system.
The government and Twitter have been locked in a tussle since the Republic Day violence in the capital. The Centre had asked the social media giant to block more than 1000 accounts alleging they were spreading misinformation. Although, Twitter temporarily compiled with the order, it restored the access of some of these accounts hours later.
Recently, the social media giant wrote a blog updating about the entire issue. Twitter wrote transparency is the foundation for promoting healthy public conversation. The company said following the reports of violence in recent weeks, it is sharing a granular update on its proactive efforts to enforce its rules and defend its principles in India.
In its statement, Twitter said it has received several separate blocking orders by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India, under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act. It said it temporarily compiled with the emergency blocking orders but restored access later in the manner it thought was consistent with Indian law.
The company said it was served with non-compliance notice after it reported the development and in a bid to set the record straight shared a list of actions taken by it as a result of these blocking orders. The micro-blogging giant said it will continue to advocate for the right of free expression on behalf of the people it serves.