India Needs To Do More Than Issuing Warnings To Twitter
The Indian Government has conveyed strong disapproval over the misrepresentation of India’s map by Twitter. The microblogging site had unlawfully shown the geo-location of Leh in ‘Jammu and Kashmir, People’s Republic of China’ and failed to fix its misrepresentation the first time around.
The Ministry of Electronics and IT has shot off a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey asking Twitter not to disrespect India’s sovereignty and integrity,, which is reflected in the maps.
Such an incident brings disrepute to Twitter and raises questions about its neutrality and fairness, the Centre warned Twitter.
This is not the first time that the Indian government has warned Twitter. It did in November 2018.
Twitter was rapped for being slow in removing objectionable or unlawful content, which had helped the spread of hate messages and rumors, inciting violence, and crime against women.
The government had warned strict legal action if Twitter failed to comply with the directives of law enforcement agencies.
In February 2019 too, the centre had warned Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and its officials for declining to appear before the parliamentary committee on information technology.
They were summoned over the issue of safeguarding citizens’ rights on social media platforms.
In February this year, the Hyderabad police had registered a case against Twitter for allegedly allowing anti-CAA content on its platform.
The complainant had alleged that Twitter was collaborating with anti-social elements, who were misusing the platform to post unverified content.
The petitioner said making false allegations against the nation and religion, threatens the security of Indian citizens.
Not only this, Twitter blocks right-wing opinions and encourages left views quite blatantly.
Twitter had temporarily restricted US President Donald Trump’s election campaign account from tweeting after his team referred to a New York Post story, containing alleged details of Hunter Biden’s corrupt business dealings with a Ukrainian energy company.
Twitter had argued that the video had violated its rules against posting private information.
Warnings Will Not Suffice
The Indian Government has been issuing warnings to Twitter, but they have not paid off as expected.
Twitter checks the wrongdoings, but after sometime reverts to what it does best – being insensitive towards malafide and fake content posted on its platform by anti-national elements.
So, how the government deals with Twitter? Should it ban the site as has been done by China, Iran, and North Korea?
In FY19, profit at Twitter India had doubled and revenue increased 31 percent in the year ended March, which indicated improved business for the social media platform.
Net profit at Twitter Communications India rose 108 percent to Rs 5.8 crore and revenue had climbed to Rs 56.9 crore during 2018-19 from Rs 43.4 crore a year ago.
The good business of any foreign firm means good income for the government through taxes.
Therefore, it is not advisable for the government to take such a harsh step against Twitter.
However, it could suspend operations for some time to tame Twitter. This works wonders. Take for instance Turkey.
In March 2014, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had banned Twitter, saying that Twitter did not obey a Turkish court order to remove certain links on their website.
This action forced Twitter to change its policy before it was relaunched in Turkey. Criticizing the Turkish government or making a sarcastic comment invites Twitter’s wrath for now.
In 2007, UAE had blocked Twitter due to its inconsistent content relating to religion, culture, and moral values of the country. Currently, there is no ban on Twitter in UAE.
Giving dose to some defiant kids is a better option.
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