In Twitter vs Centre, A New Flashpoint Over Ravi Shankar Prasad’s Account

Ravi Shankar Prasad said he was locked out of his Twitter account for about an hour because the social network said he had violated US copyright law.

New Delhi: 

Union Minister for Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday said Twitter denied him access to his account for almost an hour today over complaints that he violated copyright law by posting clips of himself from television debates.

“Twitter denied access to my account for almost an hour on the alleged ground that there was a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of the USA and subsequently they allowed me to access the account,” Mr Prasad said in a series of tweets.

“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,” Mr Prasad added.

His new run-in with Twitter comes amid the platform’s months-long clash with the BJP-led government at the centre over issues ranging from requests to take down tweets supporting the farmers’ protest, discrediting posts by leaders of the BJP and more recently new regulation.

The new rules for social networking websites – which include appointing India-based compliance executives and other conditions – have led to a protracted feud, raising concerns that Twitter may no longer enjoy protection against user-generated content.

“Further, it is now apparent as to why Twitter is refusing to comply with the Intermediary 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,” Mr Prasad wrote.


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