Twitter Grilled by Parl committee on Blocking of Amit Shah’s Account in 2020

Jan 22 2021 10:06 AM
Twitter Grilled by Parl committee on Blocking of Amit Shah’s Account in 2020

NEW DELHI: Parliamentary Panel on Thursday grilled officials of Twitter and raised issues of blocking of the account of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in November 2020 as well as mis-representation of the Indian map by the micro-blogging site. Twitter said that Shah’s account was temporarily locked due to an “inadvertent error” and the decision was reversed immediately.

Executives from Facebook and Twitter, who appeared before a parliamentary committee today, faced rigorous questions on why they blocked the accounts of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.  The agenda of today’s meeting included safeguarding citizens’ rights, preventing misuse of social news media platforms and women security in the digital space.

But sources said the executives were questioned why Mr Shah’s Twitter account was blocked and who gave them the right to do so. The Twitter officials explained that they had to block the account temporarily as there was a copyright issue regarding a picture posted. When Mr Shah’s account was blocked, Twitter had explained it as an “inadvertent error” under its copyright policies. “This decision was reversed immediately and the account is fully functional,” a spokesperson of the microblogging site had said.

 In the backdrop of a huge controversy over hate speech and content being closely monitored and removed in the United States, some members questioned how social media platforms could remove content when there is no law against it in India. Both Twitter and its parent company Facebook said they have strong rules regarding the content and would remove content when necessary to ensure it does not incite violence.

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