jack dorsey, new it rules, twitter india, twitter indian government

The Twitter Inc. logo is displayed on an Apple Inc. laptop computer in this arranged photograph taken in New Hyde Park, New York, U.S., on Sunday, April 21, 2019. Twitter Inc. is scheduled to release earnings figures on April 23. Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg

As Elon Musk seizes control of Twitter in a $44 billion dramatic takeover that has been a rollercoaster ride and comes just weeks after he bought a nine percent stake, here’s a look at an equally action-packed journey of the microblogging site in India.

Presenting…a timeline of Twitter’s troubles in the country:

2018

November: ‘Smash Brahmanical Patriarchy’ row 

Pictures of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey holding ‘Smash Brahmanical Patriarchy’ placard angered some Twitter users and the firm had to later apologise.

2020

November: Map mess

The Indian government issued a notice to Twitter for showing Leh as part of Jammu and Kashmir instead of the Union Territory of Ladakh.

December:  Tagging troubles

Twitter India tagged BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya’s tweet on farmer protest as ‘manipulated media’, which the government objected to. Later in May 2021, it tagged BJP’s chief spokesperson Sambit Patra’s tweet on the alleged ‘toolkit’ prepared by the Congress as manipulated media.

2021

February: Farmer protests

Following farmer protests to repeal the three farm laws that turned violent on January 26, the government asked Twitter to block 250 tweets and Twitter accounts. It also wanted the firm to remove over 1,000 accounts, allegedly run by Pakistani and Khalistani operators, for allegedly spreading misinformation and posting provocative content regarding the protest.

May to August: Compliance issues  

The Centre announced new IT rules in February to crack down on misinformation on social media.

When the rules came into effect in May, the company requested more time to comply expressing concern over freedom of speech and safety of employees in India.

In July, the Centre said in an affidavit to high court that Twitter had failed to comply with the rules leading to loss of immunity as an intermediary under the IT Act.

By August, Twitter was in full compliance with the rules.

June: FIR against Twitte

Twitter India, along with several people, were named in a FIR filed by Ghaziabad police for sharing the video of assault on a 65-year-old which allegedly disrupted communal harmony. Its managing director was summoned by the UP police for questioning. This was later quashed by the Karnataka High Court.

June: IT minister account locked

On June 25, Ravi Shankar Prasad’s account was locked for around an hour over copyright violation. The company had locked the account after receiving a complaint from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry on behalf of Sony Music Entertainment.

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