Social media giants facing heat over their behaviour from Indian agencies
At last US-based errant social media giants like Twitter, Facebook and Google are in hot water over their behaviour from Indian agencies. The totally defiant Twitter is now facing several police cases from Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday, a day after it without an apology removed the wrong map of India from its website. In more trouble for Twitter, an FIR (First Information Report) was lodged in Uttar Pradesh against two senior officials of its India office over the social media platform putting up a distorted map of the country, while the Madhya Pradesh government said it will also initiate legal action against the microblogging giant over the issue.
The Delhi Police said it has registered a case against Twitter on a complaint by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) for allegedly allowing access to child sexual abuse material on the social media platform. It is the latest in the run-ins between Twitter and Indian authorities. While the social media giant is mired in a row with the central government over not following the new IT rules, Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari was recently summoned by Ghaziabad police in UP in a probe into an objectionable video posted in connection with an assault on an elderly Muslim man. Twitter India’s news partnership head Amrita Tripathi is also named in the FIR. The FIR on the wrong map issue was lodged at the Khurja Nagar police station in Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh under Indian Penal Code section 505 (2) (public mischief) based on a complaint by an office-bearer of right-wing outfit Bajrang Dal.
The Parliamentary Committee on IT will also summon representatives of YouTube and other Social Media Intermediaries in the coming weeks over the issue. Facebook and Google representatives were called days after Twitter officials deposed before the panel.
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh police have moved the Supreme Court against an order of the Karnataka High Court restraining it from taking coercive action against Twitter India head Manish Maheshwari in connection with a probe related to fake news giving communal colour by posting an edited video on the assault on an elderly Muslim man in Ghaziabad.
Facebook and Google representatives Tuesday deposed before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology over the issue of social media misuse, with sources saying they were told to comply with the new IT rules, government instructions and court orders. The panel, chaired by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, had asked them to appear in person at the parliament secretariat here.
While from Facebook it’s country public policy director Shivnath Thukral and general counsel Namrata Singh deposed before the panel, Google was represented by its country head (government affairs and public policy) Aman Jain and director (legal) Gitanjali Duggal. The agenda of the parliamentary panel meeting was to safeguard citizens’ rights and prevent the misuse of social/ online news media platforms.
Earlier, Facebook representatives had informed the parliamentary panel that their company policy does not allow their officials to attend in-person meetings because of their Covid-related protocol. But Tharoor conveyed to Facebook that its officials will have to appear in person since the parliament secretariat does not allow any virtual meetings.
The Parliamentary Committee on IT will also summon representatives of YouTube and other Social Media Intermediaries in the coming weeks over the issue. Facebook and Google representatives were called days after Twitter officials deposed before the panel. In the last meeting, several members of the panel had categorically told Twitter that the rule of the land is supreme not the social media platform’s policies.
 Case Booked Against Twitter India Head Over Indian Map Without J&K, Ladakh – Jun 29, 2021, Medianama
 Now, case against Twitter for ‘giving access to child porn’ – Jun 29, 2021, The Hindu
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