11 Feb 2021: 'Work here, but...: RS Prasad talks tough amid Twitter-government row
Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday told tech companies that they were free to work in India only if they follow the Indian constitution.
His tough statements came amid an intense stand-off between the Indian government and Twitter.
Yesterday, the micro-blogging website released a lengthy post, wherein it said it advocates the "right of free expression."
What he said: Social media can't be used for spreading fake news
The minister said that the government has immense respect for social media as it played a role in the Digital India initiative and empowered common people.
However, he added, that if these platforms are used for spreading misinformation and fanning violence, then strict action will be taken.
He also questioned the double standard of the platforms, citing the example of the United States riots.
Fact: He asked why social media platforms went 'against' Indian government
"What is the matter that when there is violence in US Capitol Hill, social media platforms stand by police investigation but when Red Fort is breached, the same platforms go against the Indian government? Red Fort is the symbol of our pride," he went on.
Suggestion: Companies were asked to follow Indian laws
Prasad also clarified that Centre wasn't against social media companies working and flourishing here.
"Work in India. You have crores of followers here. We respect that. Make money but you will have to abide by Indian laws and the Constitution," he underlined.
Addressing Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu, he said that while freedom is important, the government is also concerned about security and sovereignty.