Minister of state for electronics and information technology (MeitY), Rajeev Chandrasekhar, on Thursday said that lack of safety on the internet is due to bots and unregulated use of algorithms, among other things.
Chandrasekhar, citing a Reuters report stating that Disney found ‘substantial’ fake Twitter users in 2016, tweeted that “platforms which ignore their legal responsibilities of due diligence and permit illegal activities and misinformation’ were threats to ‘safe and trusted internet”.
The minister has been a vocal critic of Social Media sites that, according to him, do not comply with Indian rules and regulations.
The social media post on KOO and Twitter from a minister holds significance as it comes amid a legal battle between Twitter and the Central government.
Twitter, last month, had approached the Karnataka High Court, challenging the Centre’s orders to take down content under the new IT rules, saying it is an “abuse of power by officials.” The microblogging site has challenged a government order issued in June 2022, terming the blocking orders “overbroad and arbitrary”, failed to provide notice to the originators of the content and was disproportionate in several cases.
Sources aware of the Twitter writ petition told PTI that several requests placed by the government are allegedly for action against political content that official handles of political parties have posted and the firm views blocking of such information as a violation of the freedom of speech guaranteed to citizen users of the platform.
On the same day, Chandrasekhar had said, without naming, that foreign firms can approach the courts, but they are not exempt from local laws.”
“#TuesdayMusing In India,all including foreign Internet intermediaries/platforms have the right to court and judicial review. But equally ALL intermediary/platforms operating here,have unambiguous obligation to comply with our laws and rules. #Open #SafeTrusted #Accountable #Internet,” the minister had Tweeted.
The central government has been at loggerheads with Twitter over its policy for a long time.
The government officials, including some of the senior ministers, have openly promoted the use of homegrown social media apps similar to Twitter, for example Koo – that has seen a massive rise in its user count in just 2 years because of itss alogorithm and vernacular language . The app now has over 45 million users, which is increasing everyday. Some of the most important offices and top ministers are active users of the app.