Twitter Blocks IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s Account, Restores An Hour Later

Social media giant Twitter had denied access to Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s account for almost an hour for allegedly violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of the USA.

It asserted that it was also in gross violation of the Information Technology Rules 2021.

After the ban was imposed, the minister took to Koo, an Indian microblogging platform, and lambasted Twitter saying that its actions indicate that “they are not the harbinger of free speech that they claim to be” and are “only interested in running their own agenda”.

He reiterated that they will have to abide by the new IT Rules no matter what and there shall be no compromise on that.

“Friends! Something highly peculiar happened today. Twitter denied access to my account for almost an hour on the alleged ground that there was a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of the USA and subsequently they allowed me to access the account,” he said.

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“Twitter’s actions were in gross violation of Rule 4(8) of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 where they failed to provide me any prior notice before denying me access to my own account,” he added.

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He said it is apparent that his statements “calling out the high handedness and arbitrary actions of Twitter, particularly sharing the clips of interviews to TV channels and its powerful impact, have clearly ruffled its feathers.”

“Twitter’s actions indicate that they are not the harbinger of free speech that they claim to be but are only interested in running their own agenda, with the threat that if you do not tow the line they draw, they will arbitrarily remove you from their platform,” he said.

Taking more digs at Twitter, the minister further said that if the social media giant abides by the Intermediary Guidelines “it would be unable to arbitrarily deny access to an individual’s account which does not suit their agenda”.

When the Minister and his team tried to log in to the Twitter account ‘@rsprasad’ Twitter showed a message saying, “Your account has been locked because Twitter received a compliant Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Notice for content posted to your Twitter account. Under the DMCA copyright owners can notify Twitter claiming that a user has infringed their copyrighted works. Upon receipt of a valid notice, Twitter will remove the identified material. Twitter maintains a repeat copyright infringer policy under repeat infringer accounts will be suspended. Accruing multiple DMCA strikes may lead to suspension of your account.”

His account was later unlocked by posting a warning message which stated, “”Your account is now available for use. Please be aware that any additional notices against your account may result in your account being locked again and potentially suspended. In order to avoid this, do not post additional material in violation of our Copyright Policy and immediately remove any material from your account for which you are not authorised to post.”

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