Twitter Locks IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad's Account For An Hour

In an emailed response, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed that Prasad's account was locked due to a DMCA notice only and the referenced Tweet has been withheld.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, took to Twitter on Friday afternoon to claim that he was denied access to his own account for nearly an hour.

According to a screenshot posted by Prasad of the complaint provided by Twitter, the microblogging platform stated that they had received a notice of violation of the Digital Millennium Copyrights Act of the United States from his account.

Prasad in turn alleged that Twitter restricting access to his account was violating Rule 4(8) of the intermediary guidelines, for not notifying him in prior to denying access to the account.

In an emailed response to BOOM, a Twitter spokesperson said, "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. Per our copyright policy, we respond to valid copyright complaints sent to us by a copyright owner or their authorized representatives."

While Prasad has eventually been provided access to his account, this marks yet another rise in tension between the Twitter and MeitY.

The company and the ministry have been at loggerheads over who should have the final say on what sort of content could feature in the platform, and what needed to be removed.

Also Read: Twitter Vs Indian Government: The Fight For Digital Sovereignty

"Your account has been locked because Twitter received a compliant Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") Notice for content posted to you Twitter account. Under the DMCA, copyright owners can notify Twitter claiming that a user has infringed their copyrighted works," read the notice provided to Prasad according the screenshot he posted.

"Accruing multiple DMCA strikes may lead to suspension of your account," it added.

Prasad, irked by Twitter's actions, reprimanded the company on a thread on its own platform. "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," he said.

He refers to a recent interview by News24, which he uploaded directly through his Twitter account.

Responding to the allegations of copyright infringement, he adds, "in the past several years, no television channel or any anchor has made any complaints about copyright infringements with regard to these news clips of my interviews shared on social media."

"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," Prasad added.

Updated On: 2021-07-16T11:30:38+05:30
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