The government responded to Twitter’s concern for the safety of its employees and the “potential threat to freedom of expression” for Twitter users. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said in a statement that the social media platform was attempting to undermine India’s legal system.
On Monday, the Delhi Police had visited Twitter offices as part of their probe into why the social media platform tagged a tweet by Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) spokesperson, Sambit Patra as “manipulated media”. The police said that they were “enquiring into a complaint in which clarification is sought by Twitter regarding the classification of a tweet by Shri Sambit Patra as ‘manipulative’”.
Under Twitter rules, a post is tagged as “manipulated media” if it contains media that has been “deceptively altered or fabricated”. AltNews, the fact-check organisation said that the documents posted by Patra were analysed and claimed that some were created with a forged letterhead.
A Twitter spokesperson said that the social media platform has “concerns with regards to the use of intimidation tactics by the police in response to enforcement of our global Terms of Service”. The spokesperson added that it was also concerned by the new IT Rules and said the regulations “inhibit free, open public conversation”.
Twitter’s statement is an attempt to dictate its terms to the world’s largest democracy. Through its actions and deliberate defiance, Twitter seeks to undermine
India’s legal system: Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology pic.twitter.com/WyGumYToYv
— ANI (@ANI) May 27, 2021
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology responded that the allegations of ‘intimidation tactics’ were false and baseless. It stated that the platform was attempting to “defame India” in an effort to hide their own “follies”. The Ministry also added that the statement attempted to “dictate the terms of the world’s largest democracy”. The statement added that the social media platform needed to “stop beating around the bush and comply with the laws of the land”.
The Ministry’s statement also wished to “emphatically assure that representatives of social media companies” would remain safe in India. It added that there was “no threat” to their safety and security.