Parliamentary Standing Committee rebuked Twitter, told to fall in line with laws of India

Parliamentary Standing Committee rebuked Twitter on IT, told to fall in line with the laws of India: After observing reluctance of Twitter over following the new IT rules, the giant American social media platform got rebuked by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on IT and was also told and advised to fall in line with the laws of the country “instead of going by its company standards.” After Twitter got aware that it has lost its safe harbour status in India that granted it legal immunity against any ‘unlawful’ and ‘inflammatory’ content posted on the platform by a subscriber, officials of Twitter appeared before the Standing Committee members.

The Parliamentary committee was attended by various members including its chairman and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and some other members such as Mahua Moitra (TMC), Nishikant Dubey (BJP), and Rajyavardhan Rathor. As per some official sources when the Committee asked Twitter whether their company rules are important or the laws of India, Twitter representatives gave a “vague response by saying that Twitter Rules are equally important for them.” However this was not viewed in a positive way by committee which then told Twitter to follow the rules in a firm tone said the sources. After being contacted, the American company said that it will continue to engage positively with the Parliamentary Committee on future.

As per a spokesperson of Twitter, “Twitter stands prepared to work with the Committee on the important work of safeguarding citizens’ rights online in line with our principles of transparency, freedom of expression, and privacy. We will also continue working alongside the Indian government as part of our shared commitment to serve and protect the public conversation,” Twitter is already in a risky and dangerous situation. It delayed it’s part to appoint statutory officers in India to fall in line with the new IT Rules. Earlier this month, regarding a case involving an assault on a person from a minority community a notice was also served to the company’s India managing director. Manish Maheswari, managing director of Twitter India was served a notice by Ghaziabad Police in connection with the probe of that case.

Twitter and the IT ministry have not been in pleasant situation since announcement of new rules by IT department. Last month on May 27, Twitter shocked everyone with a sudden attack on government when it accused government of “dangerous overreach that is inconsistent with open, democratic principles” Twitter didn’t stop here, it even put some more allegations on Government of India. It further said that it has also been forced to withhold (block in India) portions of legitimate free speech on its platform over fears around the safety of its employees and threats of financial penalties.

However after being alleged by Twitter, government responded and shot back Twitter just within few hours. It alleged Twitter and accused it for deliberately subverting the law of the land. It further also accused it of trying to dictate its terms even while using opaque policies to arbitrarily suspend user accounts and delete tweets.