When asked about the dispute between the Indian government and Twitter, US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price restated the commitment towards supporting democratic values including, freedom of expression.
On Thursday, India’s Electronics and Information Technology (IT) Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad warned social media firms to follow India’s law a day after the stand-off between Twitter and the government over the restriction of content regarding the ongoing farmers protest.
While speaking at the Parliament, Prasad said that Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp were welcome to operate in India, but only if they play by the country’s rules. He said: “You will have to follow the Constitution of India, you will have to abide by the laws of India.”
The warning from the IT Minister comes after social media platform Twitter refused to fully comply with the government’s directive to block 1,178 handles. The government claimed that these accounts were spreading misinformation and provocative content on farmers protest. As we reported earlier, Twitter didn’t fully follow the order but blocked over 500 accounts and geo-blocked access to many others. Twitter stated it had not blocked all of the content as it didn’t believe the order was in-line with the Indian law and also assured that it will continue to protect freedom of speech.
When asked to comment on the situation between Twitter and the Indian government, US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price said: “What I would say generally, is that around the world, we are committed to supporting democratic values including freedom of expression. I think when it comes to Twitter’s policies we would have to refer you to Twitter itself.”
In light of the ongoing tussle between the government and Twitter, India’s IT ministry and other politicians are urging Indians to use Twitter’s home-grown local rival, Koo. The Koo App is creating a buzz and various government officials are promoting this app that received the Atma Nirbhar Bharat app challenge under the social category in 2020.
Koo is a similar social media platform to Twitter where users can express their opinions. It also offers services in various local languages. However, French cybersecurity researcher Robert Baptiste, who also goes by the alias Elliot Alderson, claimed that Koo is leaking user information.
Also Read: Twitter war over the farmers protest