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Follow the law of the land or leave: Andhra Pradesh HC raps Twitter

The bench also said that criminal proceedings can be initiated against Twitter for non-compliance

Micro-blogging platform Twitter was on Monday told to follow the laws of the land or leave by the Andhra Pradesh High Court after failing to comply with the earlier orders issued by it.

The Andhra HC bench comprising of Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and Justice M Satyanarayana Murthy expressed disappointment after Twitter did not remove the derogatory comments posted against the judiciary and a few HC judges which are allegedly posted by members and supporters of the ruling YSR Congress party.

The bench also said that criminal proceedings can be initiated against Twitter for non-compliance. Twitter is also asked to facilitate the court with a detailed explanation on the matter in the next hearing, which is scheduled for February 7, 2022. The platform has been asked to submit the same in the form of an affidavit.

The HC, in the course of proceedings, said, “During the last hearing, we gave clear orders that the objectionable content be removed forthwith. Failure to do so amounts to contempt of court. If you have to continue your services, you have to necessarily respect the laws of the land. Otherwise, close your shop down.”

What irked the court was the fact that Twitter, instead of removing the defamatory comments from its platform, allowed users from outside India to have access to the mentioned comments.

The court, along with warning Twitter, praised other social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook who had successfully removed similar content entirely from their platforms.

Twitter was at the receiving end of the HC’s wrath on Monday in connection with a suo-moto case which is being investigated by the CBI at the HC’s behest.

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