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Rapid work is being done to hold social media platforms accountable, says Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw

With the rise of social media platforms in the internet-driven world, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is making several efforts at their end to hold social media platforms accountable, as per Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw

Ashwini Vaishnaw

Social media accountability has become a legitimate issue globally, and multiple steps are being taken in this direction, said Union Minister for Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw.

“It is vital to hold it accountable and it will first start with self-regulation, then industry regulation, and then finally, government regulation,” he said.

“A mindset that social media should be held responsible is gaining hold both in India and globally,” Vaishnaw said. Vaishnaw went on to add, “Globally, the issue of social media accountability has gained validity. Social media platforms need to be answerable for their actions. Rapid work is being done to hold it accountable.”

Furthermore, Vaishnav also emphasised on how every company must adhere to Indian laws if they are operating in India, regardless of the industry they belong to. "It is everyone's duty to uphold the legislation enacted by the Parliament,” he said.

According to Live Law, Twitter has challenged certain Indian government demands in reference to the removal of content on its platform, by moving the Karnataka High Court and petitioning it to quash them.

The microblogging platform claims that the orders for removal of content given out by the IT Ministry fail "the test of the grounds provided under Section 69A of the IT Act” and claims it to be “an abuse of authority by officials”, as per reports.

Over the past year, Twitter had received several notices from Indian authorities to take action against accounts that support the Khalistan movement, posts that had allegedly spread false information about the farmers’ protests, and tweets that are critical of the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Reuters.

However, according to government sources, there are still a number of orders against which Twitter emerged non-compliant even after the microblogging platform was given the final deadline of July 4 for compliance.

Twitter had already received a notification from the government warning that it risked losing its intermediary status, and it will be directly held responsible for everything posted on the platform, if it didn't abide by the government orders.

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