The Centre on Thursday hit back hard at Twitter’s latest statement raising concerns over the ‘potential threat’ to freedom of speech, 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.
Maintaining that India has a glorious tradition of free speech and democratic practices dating back centuries, the Ministry of Electronics and IT said in a statement that protecting free speech in India is not the prerogative of a private, for-profit, and foreign entity like Twitter. Still, it is the commitment of the world’s largest democracy.
“Twitter’s statement is an attempt to dictate its terms to the world’s largest democracy. Through its actions and deliberate defiance, Twitter seeks to undermine India’s legal system,” the ministry statement said.
The ministry also said that Twitter refuses to comply with those very regulations in the intermediary guidelines on the basis of which it is claiming safe harbour protection from any criminal liability in India.
Referring to the statement wherein Twitter stressed on the need of a collaborative approach and a collective responsibility of elected officials, industry, and civil society to safeguard the interests of the public, the IT Ministry said: “It is time Twitter disabuses itself of this grandiosity and comply with the laws of India.”
It further assured that representatives of social media companies, including Twitter, “are and will always remain safe in India and there is no threat to their personal safety and security”.