All That Twitters Is Not Gold: Centre Warns Platform That Its Executives Could Be Jailed For Violations Of IT Act

Representative image. (Unsplash/Con Karampelas)

The Government of India has issued a warning stating that top Twitter executives could attract jail time of up to seven years along with financial penalties if they fail to censor content and accounts carrying "objectionable and inflammatory content" on the platform, reports Times Of India (TOI).

“A failure to remove this content or inordinate delays in complying with the government's request are seen to be a violation of the country's IT laws,” said a source to the newspaper.

According to a government official, the company has been "warned and asked to comply with the provisions under the IT Act. Otherwise, it will face action under Section 69A of the Act. A notice has been sent in this regard.”

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The Act noted that any intermediary (internet platform) which fails to comply with the direction "shall be punished with an imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine".

A parliamentary committee is also investigating how Twitter’s algorithms are employed in India and has also sought details about the funding of advertisements that appear on Twitter. There are also concerns of bias in blocking accounts ahead of the general election.

No Foreign Influence In India

On 28 February (2019) the parliamentary panel asked Twitter to ensure there is no foreign influence on the upcoming general elections. The request came about after complaints of interference on social media platforms during the US Elections in 2016.

Also Read: The Anti-Social Networks – Why India’s Non-Left Voices Need To Move Beyond Facebook And Twitter

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