Last year, Twitter got into a similar controversy when its location tagging system showed the Leh region as part of China.
Uttar Pradesh Police named Twitter India Chief Manish Maheshwari first information report (FIR) via a map on the Twitter website showing Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as a separate country.
The card in question was in the “Tweep life“On the careers page of Twitter. Although it appears the wrong card has been on the Twitter website since May (MediaNama verified this by checking the archived version the site) the topic was brought into the spotlight just yesterday. The card was removed within hours after the company faced public backlash and the government said it looked into the matter.
The FIR was filed based on a complaint from the leader of the Hindutva group Bajrang Dal, Praveen Bhati in UP Bulandshahr District, and appoints Amrita Tripathi, Head of Twitter India News Partnerships. Both Maheshwari and Tripathi have been booked under Section 505 (2) of the Indian Criminal Code (Creation or Promotion of Enmity, Hate or Malice Between Classes) and Section 74 of the IT (Amendment) Act 2008, Scroll reported. Maheshwari has already been notified by UP police in a separate case about Twitter’s role in the Ghaziabad attack. However, the Karnataka Supreme Court issued an injunction last week preventing the UP police from taking coercive measures against him.
Not the first line of the card for Twitter
Last October, Twitter caught the Indian government’s crosshairs when geotags for Leh on the platform indicated the region was part of China. The government wrote a strongly worded letter expressing “strong disapproval” of the issue and warning the company against “disrespect”[ing] the sovereignty of the country ”. The letter also raised questions about the neutrality and fairness of Twitter as an intermediary.
Although the problem was quickly resolved, the Parliament’s Joint Committee has on data protection law questioned Twitter about it a few days later. “Improperly and incorrectly displaying the Indian map is an offense of treason and carries a seven-year prison sentence,” BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi said at the hearing. Twitter representatives said the problem was due to a technical error and it was a “bug” and apologized for the problem. However, the committee was not satisfied with the response and also asked for an affidavit from Twitter India’s US-based parents.
Twitter faces a battle on multiple fronts
IT minister’s account blocked: Last Friday, Twitter blocked Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s personal account for copyright infringement. The account was unlocked within an hour, but RS Prasad hit Twitter because it had taken action against IT rules. “Twitter’s actions show that they are not the harbinger of the freedom of expression they claim to be, only interested in pursuing their own agenda with the threat that if you are not on, they will arbitrarily remove you from their platform the line they have drawn, ”added Prasad.
Ghaziabad case: On June 16, Uttar Pradesh police filed FIR against Twitter and others in connection with tweets about an elderly man allegedly assaulted in Ghaziabad. Twitter was named as a defendant in the case because it allegedly failed to delete any “provocative” tweets, despite the Ghaziabad police clarifying the matter. Ghaziabad police later sent a legal notice to the managing director of Twitter India related to the case, asking the officer to come to the Loni border post within a week. However, the Karnataka Supreme Court on Thursday issued an injunction preventing Uttar Pradesh police from taking coercive measures against Manish Maheshwari of Twitter Communications India Private Ltd.
Compliance with IT rules: Twitter does not yet have to fully comply with the IT rules 2021 that came into force on May 25th. The platform had appointed a resident complaints officer, a node contact person, and a chief compliance officer on an interim basis, but the government indicated that the complaints officer and nodal contact person designated by the company were not employees of the platform and those of the company The office address given was that of a law firm. To make matters worse, Twitter’s interim complaints officer, Dharmendra Chatur, left his position on June 28, forcing the company to reappoint its U.S.-based employee as a complaints officer, in violation of the rules. As of now, Twitter is not complying with IT rules and its careers page offers positions for all three roles.
Message from the Standing Committee: Parliament’s Standing Committee on Information and Technology asked Twitter to appear on June 18 on the subject of protecting civil rights and abuse of social media / news platforms. Twitter reportedly accepted before the committee that it would prioritize its own set policies over Indian law in the event of a conflict, leading the panel to conclude that the social media company is in violation of the 2000 IT Act. According to a report by Business hours, on June 18, the panel interviewed Twitter India representatives on various subjects such as the appointment of a full-time compliance officer, his status as an intermediary, etc. for over 90 minutes. At the end of the meeting, the panel is said to have asked Twitter representatives questions to which the social media company will soon have to provide answers.
Manipulated media case: The Delhi police made a notice in May in connection with a toolkit allegedly created by the Indian National Congress and visited two Twitter offices. Twitter had labeled tweets from BJP politicians, including spokesman Sambit Patra and others, as “manipulated media” in the alleged toolkit prepared by Congress. The tweets alleged that Congress created this toolkit to defame the Prime Minister and “undermine” the government’s Covid-19 vaccination policy. Shortly thereafter, the Delhi police sent a notice to Twitter asking for clarification on the use of the term “media manipulated” in view of the investigation.