Twitter reacts to new IT rules, says potential threat to freedom of expression
New Delhi, May 27: Twitter today broke its silence over the new digital laws in India and said that it was concerned with the potential threat to freedom. It however added that it will strive to comply with the applicable law and said that it planned on asking for changes in the rules to elements that inhibit free and open conversation.
This is the first time that Twitter has spoken on the rules that require social media platforms to appoint a compliance officer in India, set up a grievance mechanism and take down content within 36 hours of a legal order.
"Twitter is deeply committed to the people of India. Our service has proven vital for the public conversation and a source of support for people during the pandemic. To keep our service available, we will strive to comply with applicable law in India. But, just as we do around the world, we will continue to be strictly guided by principles of transparency, a commitment to empowering every voice on the service, and protecting freedom of expression and privacy under the rule of law," a spokesperson for Twitter said.
"Right now, we are concerned by recent events regarding our employees in India and the potential threat to freedom of expression for the people we serve. We, alongside many in civil society in India and around the world, have concerns with regards to the use of intimidation tactics by the police in response to enforcement of our global Terms of Service, as well as with core elements of the new IT Rules. We plan to advocate for changes to elements of these regulations that inhibit free, open public conversation. We will continue our constructive dialogue with the Indian Government and believe it is critical to adopt a collaborative approach. It is the collective responsibility of elected officials, industry, and civil society to safeguard the interests of the public," the spokesperson also said.
Twitter has been at logger heads after it marked posts by BJP leaders on an alleged Congress toolkit as manipulated media. The government has asked Twitter to remove the tag. The Delhi Police had also visited Twitter India's offices to serve notices and seek an explanation.