Twitter has lost its legal protection in India from persecution of users’ posts due to its failure to comply with new digital laws, government sources say today as a lawsuit was filed in Uttar Pradesh against a social media tweet that police said was trying to provoke public unrest.
Twitter has not yet complied with all legal requirements that came into effect on May 25, according to sources in the Department of Technology and IT. “As a result of the lawlessness their protection as a mediator has expired. Twitter could face charges of violating any Indian law just as there is any publisher,” sources said. Twitter declined to comment.
The first case in which Twitter could face charges of third-party content was filed last night in Uttar Pradesh in Ghaziabad, in connection with an alleged attack on a Muslim man on June 5. Twitter is accused of First Information Report (FIR) and not deleting “misleading” content linked to the incident. .
The man, Sufi Abdul Samad, suspected his beard had been cut and was forced to sing “Vande Matram” and “Jai Shri Ram” by the group that attacked him. UP police said he had lied and it was not a public occurrence as stated in the tweets; The man was attacked by six people – Hindus and Muslims – who were upset over the charms he had sold, according to police. The attackers accused the man of selling fake footwear.
FIR police have accused Twitter, several journalists and Congress leaders of inciting “public opinion” in a post that shared the man’s allegations. Tweets have been shared with the clear motive of “arousing public sentiment”, the FIR said, adding that “misleading” posts have been resubmitted by the thousands.
Police said they also shared a statement with the media on the night of June 14 on Twitter giving details and challenging the public angle but despite clarification, the tweets were not deleted and Twitter did nothing to remove the tweets.
“Since they have no protection and have not marked this video as the media used, they could face retribution,” government sources said.
The government has said Twitter is the only illegal technology platform that requires large digital platforms to appoint officials in India including the Chief Compliance Officer.
On Tuesday, Twitter said it had appointed an interim Chief of Staff Officer and would soon share details with the Department of Technology.
A Twitter spokesperson said the company “continues to do its best” to follow the new guidelines and keeps the IT Department informed of progress at all stages of the process.
Twitter initially expressed concern about what they called the “potential danger to freedom of speech” when the new rules came into effect last month.
Earlier this month, the government gave Twitter a “final notice” to get in line, saying his refusal to do so showed his “lack of commitment and hard work” in providing secure information to Indians on its platform.
“Although it has been operating in India for more than a decade, it is more than a matter of believing that Twitter Inc has forcibly refused to create mechanisms that will enable the Indian people to resolve their issues on the platform in a timely and transparent manner and with appropriate procedures, services based in India.