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We respond to valid copyright complaints: Twitter on blocking IT Minister's account

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Mumbai, June 25 (IANS) Confirming that it had temporarily restricted access to Union Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s Twitter account, the micro-blogging platform said on Friday that it was restricted due to a DMCA notice, adding that it responds to valid copyright complaints.

A Twitter spokesperson also said that the referenced tweet has been withheld.

“We can confirm that the Honourable Minister’s account access was temporarily restricted due to a DMCA notice only, and the referenced Tweet has been withheld. As per our copyright policy, we respond to valid copyright complaints sent to us by a copyright owner or their authorised representatives,” the spokesperson said.

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The response came after the minister called out the US-headquartered company for blocking his account without any prior information, calling it a ‘gross violation’ of IT guidelines by Twitter.

Taking to India-made micro-blogging platform Koo, Prasad said earlier in the day that he was denied access to his Twitter account for almost an hour over alleged violation of the US’ Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

“Twitter’s actions were in gross violation of Rule 4(8) of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 where they failed to provide me any prior notice before denying me access to my own account,” he said in a series of posts on Koo.

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Prasad, who has been at the forefront of the government’s drive to bring in more compliance and stricter norms for social media platforms, added: “It is apparent that my statements calling out the high handedness and arbitrary actions of Twitter, particularly sharing the clips of my interviews to TV channels and its powerful impact, have clearly ruffled its feathers.”

“No matter what any platform does, they will have to abide by the new IT Rules fully and there shall be no compromise on that,” he added.

Koo on the other hand has stood in favour of giving users complete context and intimation of any alleged violation.

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Aprameya Radhakrishna, CEO & Co-founder of Koo, said: “Giving a user complete context of any claimed violation and an intimation of the exact violation is important. The user should also be able to contest or accept the claimed violation.”

A direct action of suspension without the above makes it seem like a social media platform is taking the final judgement call and is not being an intermediary, he added.

Twitter has been at loggerheads with the government over the IT guidelines. It has also lost its status of intermediary platform in India over non-compliance of the new intermediary guidelines.

As a result of the development, the company has lost its legal shield in the country from prosecution over posts.

The micro-blogging platform recently said that it has appointed an interim Chief Compliance Officer, as per the new norms, and the details of which would be soon shared with the IT Ministry directly.

–IANS

rrb/sn/arm

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