The Indian government has warned micro-blogging site Twitter that it can hold the company’s top executives accountable, if the company fails to remove objectionable and inflammatory content, along with accounts carrying it, The Times of India reported on Wednesday, 13 March.
The government said the company’s top executives can face up to seven years in jail and financial penalties if they fail to abide by this ruling. A government official told The Times of India that failure to remove such content or delay in the government’s request will be seen as a violation of the country’s IT laws.
Senior government officials also told TOI that Twitter has been warned and asked to comply with the provisions under the IT Act. Otherwise, it will face action under Section 69A of the Act. They were further quoted by the daily as saying that a notice has been sent as well.
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Section 69A of the IT Act gives power to the government to allow blocking of content or accounts that carry information that is seen as detrimental to the sovereignty and integrity of India, or has the potential to create public disorder. Internet platforms that fail to comply with the Act can face punishment.
This comes at a time when platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google and WhatsApp have been asked to ensure that their platform is not used to undermine or influence the political process.
The Times of India had written a detailed questionnaire to Twitter, but did not get a response till the time of publishing this article.