Principal opposition party Congress on Thursday (August 12) alleged that Twitter had blocked its account @INCIndia under pressure from the Narendra Modi government. A Twitter spokesperson explained the action, saying,: “We were alerted by NCPCR about specific content on our platform that allegedly revealed the identity of an alleged sexual assault victim’s (and a minor’s) parents. We reviewed it against Twitter Rules and policies, as well as the concerns expressed as a matter of the Indian law.”
This development comes after the microblogging site had blocked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s account for the same reason. The American tech giant told the Delhi High Court on Wednesday (August 11) that it had removed an offending tweet that had a picture of Gandhi with the parents of a 9-year-old alleged rape and murder victim.
A bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh has posted the hearing on the petition seeking initiation of legal action against Gandhi for September 27.
Interestingly, the micro-blogging platform has been on the government’s crosshairs for the past few months as it dilly-dallied on complying with the Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code, Rules 2021, that came into effect on May 25, 2021.
Yesterday, during a hearing in Delhi High Court, attorney general secretary Chetan Sharma appearing for the government said that Twitter has permanently appointed chief compliance officer, chief grievance officer and nodal contact person.
Last Friday, senior advocate Sajan Poovayya appearing for Twitter India said that the micro-blogging firm has permanently appointed chief compliance officer and a grievance officer as one person and a separate nodal contact person on August 4, 2021. According to Medianama, Twitter has appointed former ByteDance executive Shahin Komath as the nodal contact officer.
With Twitter following the new guidelines, it seems that the months-long tension between the central government and Jack Dorsey-led Twitter have finally come to an end.
The matter of event is Twitter’s reluctance to follow the Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code, Rules 2021. Last month justice Rekha Palli had rapped Twitter India for not following the Centre’s guidelines. As per the Live Law report, justice Palli said, “I don’t know what your company wants to do. If you want to do it, comply wholeheartedly.” Her remarks came after Poovayaa submitted two affidavits mentioning that the company has appointed Chief Compliance Officer and Grievance Officer as ‘contingent workers’. The court objected to the term contingent and gave a week’s time to file a better affidavit.