After widespread discontent over its decision, the government clarified it was taking action only against errant sites.
New Delhi: In the wake of widespread discontent on the social media over its decision to block certain Twitter accounts, including that of journalists, the government on Friday clarified that it was taking action only against sites that “can cause damage”.Twitter, after not initially responding to government requests, has agreed to block six sites impersonating the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
Following fake messages about the Assam violence, home minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Friday said that social media accounts which have posted objectionable and inflammatory content are being blocked but there was no censorship.“We are only taking strict action against those accounts or people which are causing damage or spreading rumours. We are not taking action against other accounts, be it on Facebook, Twitter or even
SMSs. I assure you about this,” Shinde said.“There is no censorship at all. We decided on taking action because there were pictures of Myammar online, which were disturbing the atmosphere here in India. I am again reassuring you,” Shinde added.
The government’s clarification came in the wake of it asking Twitter to block some imposter accounts of the PMO and other social media sites.Twitter has agreed to block all fake accounts using the name of the PMO.
The PMO said in a statement that it had “requested Twitter to take appropriate action against 6 persons impersonating the PMO.” When the social networking site did not reply for a long time, the government asked the Cyber Security Cell to initiate action. “Twitter has now conveyed to us that action has been taken and it has “removed the reported profile from circulation due to violation of ‘our terms of service,” a statment said.The ministry of communications and IT said that Facebook and Google were cooperating with the government.
Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said that Twitter, which has its server outside India, has said it is ready for talks. “So, we have provided 28 URLs under which objectionable material is being shown. Now the government does not know that who is behind these URLs, only Twitter and other sites are aware.”Meanwhile, some Twitter users, including Gujarat CM Modi, decided to blackout their display picture in protest.