Hours after Twitter announced the permanent suspension of US President Donald Trump’s account, a chorus arose in India's legislature condemning tech giants, with parliamentarians and nationalists passionately reiterating their previous demand for the expedited introduction of strong regulations to control such companies.
“If they can do this to POTUS, they can do this to anyone,” said Tejasvi Surya, president of the youth wing of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who is the MP from the country’s tech hub Bangalore South. Surya said that Twitter's decision should serve as a wake-up call for the government.
I'd urged govt to repeal IT Intermediaries Guidelines Rules during Zero Hr in Parliament— Tejasvi Surya (@Tejasvi_Surya) January 9, 2021
Intermediaries, as per their definition, can't interfere in content on Social Media platforms. But Rules thereunder say otherwise
This anomaly must be addressed immediately#RegulateBigTech pic.twitter.com/kCyFIdnoAs
Earlier on Saturday, Twitter, the world's leading micro-blogging platform, scrutinised recent Tweets from US President Donald Trump and permanently suspended his account due to the risk of the further incitement of violence.
Amit Malaviya, who is in charge of BJP's Information and Technology department, described the big tech firms as the new “oligarchs”; he stated that the company's deplatforming of a sitting US president sets a “dangerous precedent”.
“It has less to do with his views and more to do with intolerance for a differing point. Ironically, those who claim to champion free speech are celebrating,” Malaviya said.
Dr. Praveen Patil, a demographic scientist and founder of 5forty3 datalabs, said that big tech is no longer just interested in profits. “They (big tech) have moved beyond the previous phase of behavioural predictions (the click economy); they are now in the phase of behavioural engineering on a mass scale. Engineering the masses in the US is just the beginning,” Patil said while urging to the BJP and the RSS leadership to move beyond mere policy changes and begin actively competing in the core data-tech game of behavioural engineering.
What happens to an idea/ideology which won't confirm to the leftist/liberal standards set by the Big Tech oligarchy?— Dr Praveen Patil (@5Forty3) January 9, 2021
Google will down rank you into oblivion
Amazon algorithms will ban your book
Facebook will freeze your spread
Twitter will shadow ban or delete you
(A thread) 1/n
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, an industrialist-turned-parliamentarian, while proposing an "Algorithmic Accountability Bill" to target and hold responsible digital intermediaries, accused the US social media platforms Twitter and Facebook of biased behaviour.
An Indian parliamentary panel had also summoned Twitter's Chief Executive Dorsey, after right-wing politicians including some ruling BJP party members alleged that the company had lowered their visibility, ahead of the country's 2019 general elections.
If @narendramodi govt doesn't take appropriate steps now, we are going to have the same situation in India where Twitter, Google, FB will be dictating terms & controlling speech while having no authority. Either make them totally liable for content or force them to be a platform— Ram (@ramprasad_c) January 9, 2021
The next time ANYONE support a riot in India, under whatever pretext, understand @jack & @TwitterIndia management have just assumed criminal liability for it. They have constantly violated the intermediary guidelines, now they admitted they do so willingly— Abhijit Iyer-Mitra (@Iyervval) January 9, 2021
Meanwhile, opposition party members and some others have started requesting that Twitter act in a similar manner in India as well.
Says the one who himself uses the platform to spread misinformation and indirectly incite violence.— Ankit Lal 🏹 (@AnkitLal) January 9, 2021
The only reason your account hasn't been suspended is because @Facebook and @Twitter don't apply the same hate speech rules to US and India. https://t.co/1qgYQgzqzb
RT if you want @TwitterIndia to ban Amit Malware & Tejasvi Surya the next time they incite violence and enmity between groups.— Srivatsa (@srivatsayb) January 9, 2021
Hate in India isn't acceptable. Let's hold them accountable just like in America.