Popular microblogging service, Twitter has reportedly agreed to cooperate with the Indian government in the latter's efforts to block the accounts of some miscreants, according to The Economic Times. In his statement to the media, Minister for Communications and IT, Kapil Sibal confirmed the news, and added that Twitter will setup a special team to monitor requests to block accounts from the country.
Telecom secretary R Chandrasekhar, in his statement to ET added that, “An arrangement has been made to have a fast track method of dealing with issues which are brought to the notice by India. I don't think any exact timeline has been fixed. But a regular correspondence channel has been set up by the Department of IT. It will bring things to their notice faster to redress them.”
Agrees to cooperate with Indian government
This is the latest development in the government's ongoing attempts to crack down on channels carrying objectionable content, in light of the recent violence in Assam, and the subsequent exodus of northeast Indians from various parts of the country. In our earlier reports, it had been revealed that the Centre has been come down heavily on the channels it believes to have played a role in triggering fear, leading to the exodus. It had been found that morphed images and videos were uploaded to these websites with the alleged intention to incite the Muslim community in the country. Reports even indicated that a Pakistan-based hardliner group carried out the task of doctoring the images and disseminated them through popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. A report by the Home Ministry stated that the majority of the content appeared online on July 13. Reportedly, fake profiles were created to spread the morphed images.
In a related report, Twitter recently agreed to block all fake accounts having resemblance to the Prime Minister's official account, PMOIndia, after the government put forth a 12-hour deadline. Reportedly, the government had told Twitter to remove the offensive content, else it would be blocked in the country. This information comes as an update to an earlier report, which stated that the PMO asked the Cyber Security Cell of the Department of Information and Technology to block six parody Twitter accounts of the Prime Minister. The PMO believed that there was a possibility of the spoof accounts being mistaken for the real entity and leading to serious consequences. At the time, it had also been reported that the issue, which is now about two months old, had been referred to Twitter first, but nothing moved. After that the matter went into the hands of the Cyber Security Cell. Quoting sources, reports at the time stated that, “these accounts contained certain content having communal overtones and it could be dangerous”.