Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Rajeev Chandrasekhar, said on Thursday that the lack of security on the Internet is partly due to bots and the unregulated use of algorithms.
Chandrasekhar, citing a Reuters report that Disney found “significant” fake Twitter users in 2016, tweeted that “platforms that ignore their legal due diligence and allow illegal activities and misinformation” pose a threat to the ” secure and trustworthy internet”.
The minister has been a vocal critic of social media sites, which he says do not comply with Indian rules and regulations.
A minister’s social media post on KOO and Twitter is significant as it comes amid a legal battle between Twitter and the central government.
Twitter went to the Karnataka High Court last month, challenging the center’s orders to remove content under the new IT rules, saying it was an “abuse of power by officials”. The microblogging site has challenged a government order issued in June 2022, which called the blocking orders “excessive and arbitrary,” failed to notify content creators, and in several cases were disproportionate.
Sources aware of the Twitter Write petition told PTI that several requests made by the government allegedly concern action against political content that has published official names of political parties and the firm view that blocking such information is a Violation of the freedom of expression guaranteed to citizens constitutes users of the platform.
On the same day, Chandrasekhar said without attribution that foreign companies can apply to the courts, but they are not exempt from local laws.”
“#TuesdayMusing In India, everyone, including foreign internet intermediaries/platforms, has the right to trial and judicial review. But equally, ALL intermediaries/platforms operating here are clearly obligated to comply with our laws and rules. #Open #SafeTrusted #Accountable #Internet,” the minister had tweeted.
The central government has long been at odds with Twitter over its policies.
Government officials, including some senior ministers, have openly encouraged the use of homegrown social media apps similar to Twitter, for example Koo – which has seen a massive surge in users in just 2 years due to its algorithm and slang. The app now has over 45 million users, and the trend is rising. Some of the most important offices and top ministers are active users of the app.