Microblogging platform Twitter said it was worried about the safety of its staff in India in a statement on Thursday, 27 May, days after the Delhi police visited its office to seek clarification on its tagging of Bharatiya Janata Party national spokesperson Sambit Patra’s tweet as “manipulated media”.
Twitter said, “We, alongside many in civil society in India and around the world, have concerns with regards to the use of intimidation tactics by the police in response to enforcement of our global Terms of Service as well as with core elements of the new IT Rules.”
The company’s statement comes amid its clash with the government over the Congress toolkit row which the platform said has “caused potential threat to freedom of expression.”
Lending clarity on the IT rules, a Twitter spokesperson also said it will strive to comply with applicable law in India, adding “But, just as we do around the world, we will continue to be strictly guided by principles of transparency, a commitment to empowering every voice on the service, and protecting freedom of expression and privacy under the rule of law.”
“We urge the Ministry of Electronics & IT to publish these standard operating protocols on procedural aspects of compliance for public consultation. We would request the Ministry to consider a minimum of three-month extension for Twitter to implement the rules,” Twitter said in a statement.
Meanwhile, tech giants Google and Facebook on Tuesday, 25 May, said they aim to comply with the Centre’s new digital rules, while WhatsApp moved the Delhi High Court seeking to block the rules.
‘Concerned By Intimidation Tactics of Police’: Twitter
Twitter has been engaged in a tussle with the Indian government since February, after the IT ministry sent communication to the platform, asking it to block content, alleging the Modi-led government was trying to silence criticism related to farmer protests in the country.
“We plan to advocate for changes to elements of these regulations that inhibit free, open public conversation. We will continue our constructive dialogue with the Indian Government and believe it is critical to adopt a collaborative approach. It is the collective responsibility of elected officials, industry, and civil society to safeguard the interests of the public,” the spokesperson added.
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