Logjam between government, Twitter ends

Site to have single window for addressing Delhi grievances

 Owing to the UPA government’s pressure on removing hate messages, the Twitter has finally tweeted to the Department of Telecom (DoT) that it will create a single window in their company to address cyber grievances of New Delhi.

The US-based company in its latest communication informed DoT that it will have a separate high priority system in the company for prompt action on Government of India’s requests to block inflammatory or objectionable tweet messages.

Sources in the DoT told Deccan Herald that the company said that it would act based on the Government of India’s requests only and not on any individual’s initiative on blocking sites spreading hate messages.

DoT officials believe that Twitter agreed to ban these hate messages spread across about 30 pages post-Assam violence primarily due to the fact that it involved the security of the nation.

When asked, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal on Twitter’s latest communication, he said, “I hope the company will definitely do something. Let us wait for more details before arriving at any conclusion”.

Earlier, though the other social networking sites, including Facebook and Google which hosts Orkut and YouTube, had agreed to co-operate with the government on taking off of hate messages, Twitter was unrelenting.

Last week, Union Home Secretary R K Singh had told telecom officials to warn Twitter that the government would not hesitate in taking action against the site if it failed to block about 30 pages that were circulating messages to flare up communal passion post Assam ethnic violence. Twitter reportedly previously argued that due to the large number of tweets and re-tweets that take place every minute on every web page, the company can’t screen it.

Technical difficulties

However, later they agreed to block some pages but were finding technical difficulties in doing so with the remaining pages. Home Ministry sources said certain more information sought by Twitter was shared to ensure vindictive verbal images and texts in the cyber world are beyond the reach of netizens.

The US company had also taken much time to remove six fake Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) twitter accounts but agreed to remove the profiles from circulation as they violated their ‘Terms of Service’ when the cyber security cell was told to initiate action. 

The Centre, which is worried over misuse of social media to distort social harmony by posting inflammatory messages and photos, already blocked over 300 URLs for hosting video clips and other content which were reportedly used for spreading the rumours leading to exodus of north eastern people.

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