Twitter India has finally responded to why Ravi Shankar Prasad, Law and Justice, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology Minister of India, was denied access to his account for almost an hour on Friday. Prasad, in a series of tweets as well as on Koo, a desi alternative to Twitter, talked about the event and how Twitter didn't allow him access to his account on the grounds of violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of the USA and subsequently they allowed him to access the account.
Twitter India finally responded to the controversy and admitted that account access was temporarily restricted due to a DMCA notice. The micro-blogging platform further added that the tweet had been withheld.
A Twitter India spokesperson, in a statement to India Today Tech, has said, "We can confirm that the Honourable Minister's account access was temporarily restricted due to a DMCA notice only, and the referenced Tweet has been withheld. Per our copyright policy, we respond to valid copyright complaints sent to us by a copyright owner or their authorized representatives."
The micro-blogging platform also added that it regularly shares the total number of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices and counter-notices received by Twitter. The company reveals this data in its Twitter Transparency Report.
In a series of tweets on Friday, Prasad said that Twitter's action was a violation of Rule 4(8) of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021. Under this rule, Twitter India didn't provide Prasad with any prior notice before denying him access to his Twitter handle.
In another tweet, Prasad said, "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."
Prasad lastly added, "No matter what any platform does they will have to abide by the new IT Rules fully and there shall be no compromise on that."
Soon after Prasad's tweet, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said that the same happened to him as well. Tharoor's one of the tweets was reportedly taken down due to a copyright issue.
Tharoor further added that he would seek an explanation from the micro-blogging platform, Twitter, over the brief locking of his and Prasad's Twitter handles on Friday. Notably, Tharoor is also the chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology.
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