The world of social media has seen a lot of ruckus in the last few months, with Twitter offices being raided by Delhi Police, WhatsApp suing the government over violation of privacy rights and the deadline for social media companies to comply with the new rules.
Let’s start with Twitter, the microblogging platform has been the eye of the storm as it has always put up a fight with the government over several issues. Been indulged in controversies from clampdown on posts critical to the government’s response to COVID-19 pandemic to tweets on farmers protest and lastly the government’s directives around the ‘manipulated media’ tag. The latest development is that a plea has been moved in the Delhi High Court against the non-compliance by Twitter India and Twitter Inc with the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (IT Rules, 2021).
Twitter had raised concerns over the
potential threat to freedom of speech and the new IT rules have elements that inhibit free conversation. The government hit back hard at Twitter, saying that the US-based microblogging platform is trying to dictate its terms in India, and also wants to undermine the country’s legal system.
WhatsApp, its parent Facebook and tech rivals have all invested heavily in India. But company officials worry privately that increasingly heavy-handed regulation by the government could jeopardize those prospects.
The future looks uncertain as the government is not looking to bow down in front of these social media giants as that has been on cards for the past few years.