Twitter faces renewed heat from inaction against anti-court posts
Social media giant Twitter Inc faced censorship from Indian lawmakers for the second time in weeks for failing to remove critical posts from India’s high court and judges that a parliamentary panel called “obscene.”
The renewed heat from Indian lawmakers comes a day after an Indian parliamentary panel said Twitter sent a written apology to geotag a northern Himalayan region as part of china. The company promised to make corrections at the end of the month.
Meenakashi Lekhi, head of the panel and lawmaker for India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), ordered Twitter to explain on Thursday why it had not removed “obscene” tweets by a comedian against the country’s high court and its judges.
Twitter declined to comment.
The new scrutiny comes at a time when India has taken a tough stance on surveillance of digital content. To address “fake news” and misinformation, India has proposed a strict set of rules that would force social media giants to implement automated tools to verify illegal content and appoint an officer for “24×7” coordination with the law enforcement.
Lekhi’s comments come after comedian Kunal Kamra, in a series of tweets this month, lampooned the Supreme Court of India and some of its judges, after they intervened to grant bail to a channel director of nationalist television news, accused of complicity in a suicide case.
Among other tweets mocking the judges, Kamra also posted an image of the court painted in saffron, a color associated with Hindu nationalism, with the ruling party’s flag hoisted above the court.
“Kamra is playing with Indian institutions … degrading our institutions is not acceptable,” Lekhi told Reuters.
Lekhi said that Twitter’s explanation that it did not moderate content unless it violated the platform’s policy was inappropriate. Twitter has been given seven days to explain its position on the matter, he added.
Kamra did not respond to requests for comment from Reuters. He had previously said publicly that he would not retract his tweets or apologize for them.