Amid sharp disagreements between microblogging site Twitter and the Government of India over the new IT rules formulated by the latter, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Friday that his account had been locked by Twitter for about an hour. “Twitter denied access to my account for almost an hour on the alleged ground that there was a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of the USA,” the minister informed. The minister added that he was allowed to access his Twitter account after an hour.
Friends! Something highly peculiar happened today. Twitter denied access to my account for almost an hour on the alleged ground that there was a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of the USA and subsequently they allowed me to access the account. pic.twitter.com/WspPmor9Su
— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) June 25, 2021
In a series of tweets, Ravi Shankar Prasad accused Twitter of “running their own agenda”. He called the action taken by Twitter to be inconsistent with its claim of being a “harbinger of free speech.”
The union minister for Information Technology called Twitter’s action against him a violation of Rule 4(8) of the new IT Rules, 2021 as the microblogging site didn’t give him notice before locking his account.
Talking of the copyright issue, the minister said that no TV channel had complained of copyright infringement when he shared clips of his interviews on the social media. Ravi Shankar Prasad had recently given interviews to several media outlets defending the government’s stance on the new rules and attacking Twitter. “my interviews to TV channels and its powerful impact, have clearly ruffled its(Twitter’s) feathers,” he claimed.
Prasad reiterated that every platform will have to follow the new rules governing social media intermediaries and that “there shall be no compromise. ”
The new IT rules have been a source of contention between the government and Twitter. After Twitter failed to abide by the provisions of the new IT Rules, 2021, its legal protection as an intermediary was taken away by the central government. A Parliamentary panel chaired by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor had also slammed the American social media giant for its failure to follow the ‘law of the land’