Why Twitter temporarily blocked IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad's account

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Why Twitter temporarily blocked IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad
Why Twitter temporarily blocked IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

25 Jun 2021: Why Twitter temporarily blocked IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad's account

Triggering a fresh controversy, microblogging platform Twitter on Friday blocked Union Minister for Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad's account allegedly over complaints of violation of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). It locked his account temporarily, before restoring the access after about an hour. Prasad, however, lashed out at Twitter, saying its actions were in gross violation of the IT Rules, 2021.

Details: Here's why Prasad's account was locked by Twitter

Prasad's account was blocked briefly over complaints that he violated the DMCA by posting video clips of his debates on TV channels. "Twitter denied access to my account for almost an hour on the alleged ground...there was a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of the USA and subsequently they allowed me to access the account," he informed in a series of tweets.

Violation of Rules: Twitter's actions violate India's new IT Rules: Prasad

Prasad also condemned the microblogging site's actions saying they violate the country's new IT Rules that came into force on May 25. "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 tweeted.

Tweets: My recent statements calling out Twitter ruffled its feathers: Prasad

Prasad further asserted his recent statements calling out Twitter's "high handedness and arbitrary actions" have "clearly ruffled its feathers." Commenting on Twitter's non-compliance with the new IT Rules, he wrote, "It is now apparent as to why Twitter is refusing to comply...because if Twitter does comply, it would be unable to arbitrarily deny access to an individual's account which does not suit their agenda."

Fact: Take a look at series of tweets by IT Minister

No complaints ever: No TV channel ever complained against him, says Minister

The Union Minister also tweeted that no TV channel or anchor has ever complained against him for copyright infringements over sharing of clips of his interviews on social media. In another tweet, he said, "Twitter's actions indicate that they are not the harbinger of free speech that they claim to be but are only interested in running their own agenda."

Various issues: Twitter, Centre have been at loggerheads over several issues lately

To note, Twitter and the Centre have been at loggerheads over a range of issues lately, including the platform's refusal to take down posts supporting the farmers' protests, discrediting several BJP leaders' tweets, and the failure to comply with IT Rules, 2021. Twitter ultimately lost indemnity in India due to non-compliance with the rules—it no longer has legal protection from prosecution over user-generated content.

Tharoor's account: Tharoor says he faced similar action by Twitter as well

Soon after Prasad informed about Twitter's actions, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted his account was locked briefly, too, for copyright infringement over posting a video of Boney M's Rasputin. Though Tharoor didn't blame Twitter, he said, "It wasn't pleasant finding my account locked." As the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology's Chairman, Tharoor said his panel will seek Twitter's explanation over blocking their accounts.

Fact: Here's what the Congress leader posted on Twitter

The news article, Why Twitter temporarily blocked IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad's account appeared first on NewsBytes.

Also see: #ITRules: All WhatsApp messages will not be decrypted, says minister
'Deliberate defiance': Ravi Shankar Prasad on Twitter losing legal safety
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