Twitter locked me out, complains Indian minister

IANS & iNDICA NEWS BUREAU

An Indian minister on Thursday accused Twitter of locking him out of his account for an hour, the development coming amid the tussle between the social media giant and the Indian government over the country’s new rules governing information technology.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, India’s electronics and IT minister, said he was denied access to his Twitter account over an alleged violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of the United States.

Prasad took to India-made micro-blogging platform Koo — and later also posted on Twitter — to call the action by Twitter as “a gross violation” of the country’s laws.

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.

Prasad, who has been at the forefront of government’s drive to bring in more compliance and stricter norms for social media platforms, added: “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.”

He said that it was now apparent why Twitter was “refusing to comply with the 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.”

Twitter recently said that it has appointed an interim Chief Compliance Officer, as per the new norms, and the details of which would be soon shared with the IT ministry directly.