FIRs being filed as Twitter now responsible for its contents after losing intermediary status: Amit Malviya

·3-min read
National in-charge of BJP's Information and Technology department Amit Malviya. (Photo/ ANI)
National in-charge of BJP's Information and Technology department Amit Malviya. (Photo/ ANI)

By Suchitra Mukherjee

New Delhi [India], June 30 (ANI): A day after the Delhi Police Cyber Cell registered a case under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and IT Act against Twitter, National in-charge of BJP's Information and Technology department Amit Malviya said child pornography is one of the four issues highlighted by the Centre which cannot be posted on social media and FIRs are being filed against the microblogging site as it is now responsible for contents published on its site.

"Child pornography is one of the four issues highlighted by the Centre and since Twitter has lost the protection that it had in intermediary rule, it is responsible for everything which gets publish on its platform and therefore this move has been made seeking responsibility from Twitter," Malviya told ANI.

BJP's IT department in charge said, "Twitter does not enjoy protection under new intermediary guidelines anymore. They are accountable for any content that published on their platform and is offensive. That is why FIRs are being filed against it."

Earlier in the day, the Delhi Police sent a notice to Twitter India regarding content on the microblogging website on child sexual abuse and pornographic material.

The police also asked Twitter to remove the pornographic content and to share details of these accounts that had circulated it on the microblogging site.

An FIR was filed and a notice was sent after a complaint was received from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights regarding the availability of child sexual abuse and child pornographic material on Twitter.

Commenting on the incident where Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor were denied access to their Twitter account, Malviya said, "The new IT guidelines say that social media are accountable towards their users. If you block or suspend someone's account, then first they have to give notice, this process was not followed in the case of both Ravi Shankar Prasad ji and Shashi Tharoor. So the committee has sought a reply from Twitter."

Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, on June 25, said that Twitter denied access to his account for almost an hour over alleged violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of the USA and asserted that its actions were in gross violation of the Information Technology Rules 2021.

Later, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said he had also faced a similar situation.

Twitter has lost its status as an intermediary platform in India as it does not comply with new IT rules.

Now, instead of being considered just a platform hosting content from various users, Twitter will be held directly editorially responsible for posts published on its platform.

The implication of this development is that if there is any charge against Twitter for alleged unlawful content it would be treated as a publisher - not an intermediary - and be liable for punishment under any law, including IT Act, as also the penal laws of the country. (ANI)

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