India expects Twitter to comply with rules after takeover

Twitter India rules
FILE PHOTO: The Twitter App loads on an iPhone in this illustration photograph taken in Los Angeles, California, U.S., July 22, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

NEW DELHI, INDIA (Reuters) – Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter will not change India’s expectation that it will comply with the country’s rules for such companies, a government minister told Reuters on Friday, adding that India’s new IT rules would be out in days.

Twitter in July asked an Indian court to overturn some government orders to remove content from the platform.

India asked company to act

Over the past two years, Indian authorities have asked the company to act on content such as accounts supportive of an independent Sikh state, posts alleged to have spread misinformation about protests by farmers, and tweets critical of the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rules apply

“Our rules and laws for intermediaries remain the same regardless of who owns the platforms,” said Rajeev Chandrasekhar, India’s minister of state for electronics and information technology. “So, the expectation of compliance with Indian laws and rules remains.”

Twitter bans

Twitter India rules
Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Asked about what the government thought about the ban on Twitter for individuals such as Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut, Chandrasekhar did not answer directly but said India’s new amended IT rules would be released on Friday or Saturday after months of consultation.

Ranaut, who was banned from Twitter last year for violating its rules on hateful conduct and abusive behaviour, took to Instagram on Friday to applaud articles about Musk’s takeover.

Ranaut, an ardent supporter of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also shared requests from users who appealed to Musk to restore her Twitter account.

(By Krishna N. Das; Additional reporting by Tanvi Mehta. Editing by Gerry Doyle)

Related article: Twitter asks Indian court to reverse some content removal orders

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