Rules for social media platforms won’t change even as Elon Musk takes over Twitter in a $44 billion deal after months of uncertainty, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, minister of state for electronics and information technology, has suggested. “Our rules and laws for intermediaries remain the same regardless of who owns the platforms. So, the expectation of compliance with Indian laws and rules remains,” he was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters.
As Elon Musk – the world’s richest person – completes the acquisition in one of the biggest deals that the tech industry has seen in recent times, he is expected to do away with permanent bans on users among other key decisions, reports said.
When asked what the government thought about the ban on Twitter for individuals such as Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut, the minister just said the country’s new amended IT rules would be released soon.
Ranaut, who was banned from Twitter last year for violating the platform’s rules, has applauded the Twitter takeover and urged Musk to restore her account.
Twitter had earlier this year moved the Karnataka High Court against the government’s orders on the takedown of posts and accounts following an escalation of a fight between the government and the social media firm. In 2021, the Centre had sought a number of posts in connection with the then-ongoing farmers’ agitation to be pulled down. While Twitter mostly complied, it did not act on several accounts and posts, especially those of politicians and mediapersons.
The government in June this year also “served a letter setting out serious consequences of non-compliance, including, but not limited to, criminal proceedings against Twitter’s chief compliance officer, and granted last opportunity to comply…” a person familiar with the matter had told Hindustan Times at the time.
The company was also warned that it may lose its so-called safe harbour status, which gives it immunity for the content posted by users on its platform, if the compliance orders were not met.
(With Reuters inputs)