Twitter vs states: Multiple FIRs against social media giant | India News

NEW DELHI: Three fresh FIRs were lodged against Twitter on Tuesday as the social media platform faces mounting legal scrutiny over recent issues flagged by the Centre and several state governments.
With this, the number of FIRs against the US-based giant has now gone up to four, including the one filed by the UP Police earlier this month in the Ghaziabad assault incident.
Distorted map row
Earlier on Tuesday, the Uttar Pradesh Police booked Twitter India managing director Manish Maheshwari under Section 505 (2) of IPC and Section 74 of the IT (Amendment) Act 2008 for showing a wrong map of India on its website.
The map showed Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh as a separate country.
Later, the Madhya Pradesh Police also booked the Twitter India MD over the display of a distorted map of India on the platform.
The BJP-led Madhya Pradesh had taken umbrage to the map controversy, with state home minister Narrottam Mishra calling it a “serious issue”.
However, the Madhya Paradesh police have not invoked Section 74 of the IT (Amendment) Act 2008 IT Act in the matter.
“Technically, this section is not applicable in the complaint but some other sections may be added later during investigations,” said a MP cyber cell officer.
The incorrect depiction of India’s territory had triggered a heavy backlash from netizens on Monday.
FIR over access to child pornography
Separately, the Delhi Police on Tuesday registered an FIR against Twitter for allegedly allowing access to child pornography on the microblogging platform.
The complaint was made by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).
The case has been registered under relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the IT Act, they said.
In its May 29 letter, the NCPCR had said that it was found that “the toolkit for deep and dark web” was also available on Twitter. This gives access to all, including children, to obtain child sexual abuse material (CSAM).
HC adjourns proceedings in Ghaziabad case
Meanwhile, the Karnataka high court on Tuesday adjourned the proceedings in a matter pertaining to Twitter India MD and the Ghaziabad police to July 5.
The Ghaziabad police had lodged an FIR against Twitter Inc, Twitter Communications India, news website The Wire, journalists Mohammad Zubair and Rana Ayyub, Congress’ Salman Nizami, Masqoor Usmani, Dr Sama Mohammad and writer Saba Naqvi for sharing the clip of an assault of an elderly Muslim man in the Uttar Pradesh town recently.
It had also summoned Maheshwari in the probe. The Karnataka HC later restrained the Ghaziabad police from initiating any coercive action against Maheshwari.
In a video clip, which surfaced on social media on June 14, an elderly Muslim man alleged he was thrashed by some young men and asked to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. The police claimed the video was shared to trigger communal unrest and ruled out any religious angle in the incident.
Twitter vs Centre
The multiple FIRs come against the backdrop of a major standoff between the central government and the social media giant over a host of issues.
The biggest flashpoint emerged when Twitter failed to fully comply with the new digital rules that came into force last month.
Twitter had earlier accused the government of “dangerous overreach” and claimed it was forced to “withhold” portions of “legitimate free speech”.
The government had reacted strongly to these allegations, charging the company with deliberately subverting the law of the land and trying to “dictate” its terms even while using “opaque policies” to “arbitrarily” suspend user accounts and delete tweets.
Last week, Union IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad lashed out at Twitter after he was denied access to his account for an hour over alleged violation of a US-based copyright act.
(With inputs from agencies)



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