Twitter lost its safe harbor’ protection in India earlier this week after failing to designate statutory officials, as required by the government. The social networking giant named an interim chief compliance officer in India on Thursday. Multiple police actions are made against Twitter in the last weeks, most notably in the Loni assault case. It is for failing to “remove bogus tweets” and failing to identify information as “manipulated media”. The International Freedom Foundation (IFF) has discovered that on May 21, the Indian government issued a letter to them. The letter is requesting that the company suspend its Manipulated Media policy.
According to the IFF, it was able to get two letters from the IT Ministry to Twitter. It was to request that it remove its manipulated media tags from tweets of specific political leaders alluding to a purported “toolkit”. The IT Ministry stated in the first letter that the ‘toolkit’ issue was already under investigation. Labeling some tweets about it as media is manipulative “pre-judging, bias, and a purposeful attempt to color the inquiry,”. According to reports, the Ministry instructed Twitter to remove the altered media tag from a number of tweets.
According to IFF, Twitter responded to the letter by clarifying its stance against synthetic and altered media. The IT Ministry is to have written Twitter letter on May 25, claiming that the company’s practices are unclear. The Ministry also stated that labeling a tweet as manipulated media deprives the user of their right to be heard. IFF points out, however, that neither letter cites any legislation under which the government can make such demands.
Therefore, the digital rights organization, nothing in the IT Act of 2000 or the new IT guidelines allows the Ministry to order Twitter to delete or suspend its manipulated media tags or policies.