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Twitter blocks Law Minister Ravi Shankar’s handle over violation for an hour

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Micro-blogging site, Twitter, banned personal account of Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology  Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad over violation of copyright laws. The account was, however, reinstated after an hour, the minister informed.

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“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,” Prasad tweeted.

“Twitter’s actions were in gross violation of Rule 4(8) of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 where they failed to provide me any prior notice before denying me access to my own account,” he said.

“It is apparent that my statements calling out the high handedness and arbitrary actions of Twitter, particularly sharing the clips of my interviews to TV channels and its powerful impact, have clearly ruffled its feathers,” Mr Prasad added.

His new run-in with Twitter comes amid its months-long clash with the BJP-led government at the centre over issues ranging from requests to take down tweets supporting the farmers’ protest, discrediting posts by leaders of the BJP and more recently new regulation.

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The new rules for social networking websites – which include appointing India-based compliance executives and other conditions – has led to a protracted feud, raising concerns that the platform may no longer enjoy protection against user-generated content.

“Further, it is now apparent as to why Twitter is refusing to comply with the Intermediary Guidelines because if Twitter does comply, it would be unable to arbitrarily deny access to an individual’s account which does not suit their agenda,” Mr Prasad said.

“Twitter’s actions indicate that they are not the harbinger of free speech that they claim to be but are only interested in running their own agenda, with the threat that if you do not tow the line they draw, they will arbitrarily remove you from their platform,” the minister said.

“No matter what any platform does they will have to abide by the new IT Rules fully and there shall be no compromise on that,” he added.

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