Ghaziabad, Twitter, india it rules, Manish Maheshwari, Uttar Pradesh, twitter india md, Twitter India, ghaziabad viral video case, UP police, social media

Bengaluru: Police in Uttar Pradesh have sent a notice to Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari, summoning him to appear before a Ghaziabad police station for questioning in connection with a viral video of an attack on an elderly person in the state.

The notice issued on Thursday, reviewed by ET, asks Maheshwari to appear in the police station in Loni within seven days of its receipt. Twitter declined to comment for this story.

The Ghaziabad police said Twitter failed to flag or delete the posts related to the case even after they issued clarifications negating the alleged communal nature of the crime, thus contributing to the flaring up of religious tensions.

Twitter has seen its first police complaint lodged in India, after the microblogging platform likely lost its intermediary status due to non-compliance with the country’s new information technology rules and became liable for prosecution under the IT Act as well as the Indian Penal Code.

Twitter has failed to comply with the rules that came into effect on May 26, Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

“What happened in UP was illustrative of Twitter’s arbitrariness in fighting fake news. While Twitter has been over enthusiastic about its fact-checking mechanism, its failure to act in multiple cases like in UP is perplexing & indicates its inconsistency in fighting misinformation,” Prasad wrote on the microblogging platform on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Prasad questioned the company’s policy of selectively tagging Tweets as containing ‘manipulated media’.

“If Twitter has a norm of declaring a particular Tweet as manipulated or unmanipulated, why was it not applied in the Ghaziabad case?” Prasad told television news agency ANI on Thursday.

Twitter has been under fire from the government over the last few months after it tagged certain tweets by BJP leaders as manipulated media. Maheshwari was questioned by the Delhi Police on this issue last month.The San Francisco-based company also did not appoint three key executives — required under the IT Act to be permanent employees — by May 26, when the rules came into effect, leading the government to take an aggressive stance against it.

Twitter has maintained that it continues to make every effort to comply with the new guidelines.

“An interim chief compliance officer has been retained and details will be shared with the ministry directly,” a Twitter spokesperson told ET on Thursday.


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