DELHI, India — The Cyber Cell Police in India’s capital Delhi has filed a case against U.S. microblogging site Twitter under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and Information Technology Act (IT).

This is the latest case filed against the firm after Twitter lost legal protection as a social media intermediary.

This is the third police case has filed against the social media company in India.

A case has been registered against Twitter for reporting a distorted map of the country, while the other has been registered in connection with a video that shows an old Muslim man being assaulted in India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

The Police in India has also named Twitter India chief Manish Maheshwari in the complaints.

The Union Minister for Electronics and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad, on June 30, said tech companies like Twitter should be accountable to India’s constitution and laws.

National in-charge of BJP's Information and Technology department Amit Malviya. (Photo/ ANI)
Amit Malviya, national president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s IT cell, said police reports are being filed as Twitter is now responsible for contents published on its site. (ANI)

“They are welcome to do business in India. They have empowered the people of the country,” Prasad said while speaking on ‘Big Techs and Democracy’ at the India Global Forum London 2021.

“They ask questions… India, being a democracy, allows complete freedom to ask questions. But there is one issue, the issue was not of the use of social media, the issue was one of abuse and misuse of social media.”

The minister said journalists were being defamed and said messages were being circulated on WhatsApp to flame riots. Prasad also said that Twitter must appoint a grievance reparation officer and a compliance officer, as mandated by the IT act.

The Delhi Police sent a notice to Twitter India regarding content on the platform relating to child sexual abuse and pornographic material. Twitter has been asked to remove pornographic content and share details of accounts circulated on the site.

A First Information Report (FIR) was filed, and a notice was sent after a complaint from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, India’s statutory body for protection of children’s rights, regarding the availability of child sexual abuse and child pornographic material on Twitter.

The national president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s IT cell, Amit Malviya, said police reports are being filed against the microblogging site as it is now responsible for contents published on its site.

“Twitter does not enjoy protection under new intermediary guidelines anymore. They are accountable for any content that is published on their platform and is offensive. That is why FIRs are being filed against it,” Malviya said.

Electronics and IT Minister Prasad, on June 25, said that Twitter denied access to his account for almost an hour over violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. He said Twitter was in gross violation of the Information Technology Rules 2021.

Meanwhile, on July 1, users faced glitches while accessing Twitter through the browser. Twitter acknowledged the glitch and said the site was back up.

“Tweets should now be visible on profiles, but other parts of Twitter for the web may not be loading for you. We’re continuing to work on getting things back to normal,” the company’s support account tweeted earlier in the day.

“Aaaand we’re back. Twitter for the web should be working as expected. Sorry for the interruption!”

(With inputs from ANI) 

(Edited by Abinaya Vijayaraghavan and Praveen Pramod Tewari)

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