Elon Musk LIVE: Musk will turn Twitter into a ‘powerful engine of hate’, analyst says



India’s expectation that Twitter will abide by the country’s rules on social media platforms will not change with its takeover by Elon Musk, according to a senior minister. The world’s richest man and CEO of electric car maker Tesla Inc has become the new owner of Twitter Inc and the self-proclaimed free-speech absolutist has fired top executives including chief executive Parag Agrawal, the chief financial officer Ned Segal and chief legal and policy officer Vijaya Gadde.

“How does it matter to the government who owns what. Our laws and rules apply to platforms, regardless of who owns them or not,” said the Minister of State for Electronics and Communications. Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, to PTI in response to a specific question. question about the change of ownership at Twitter.

Musk’s assertion that free speech is allowed on the platform has many people excited, especially those who have been banned by Twitter for violating the rules. Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut, who was banned from Twitter last year for breaking its rules on hateful conduct and abusive behavior, took to Instagram on Friday to welcome posts about Musk’s takeover . She re-shared a fan’s post asking Elon Musk to restore the actor’s account. Musk, who is the richest man in the world, had made an unsolicited $44 billion take-it-or-leave-it takeover bid in April.

India is one of the biggest markets for social media companies, and Twitter is no exception. Twitter has millions of users in India – a country that offers a huge potential market for all internet giants, not only in terms of users but also advertising. But the microblogging platform has had confrontations with the government, the most recent being compliance with new IT rules.

Musk himself had a history of clashes with the government over import duties. Telsa wants higher import duties reduced, a move opposed by local businesses. Starlink, part of Musk’s SpaceX, was banned in November 2021 from accepting pre-orders for its unlicensed satellite broadband services in India.

Government sources said Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starlink had already applied for a license. Twitter is widely used by several government pseudonyms, politicians and businesses as a means of spreading opinions and information. Notably, Musk’s takeover comes at a time when India is poised to change IT rules to make way for the establishment of grievance appeal boards that can review content moderation decisions by companies. social media like Twitter and Meta.

It has been reported that digital platforms act arbitrarily by removing content and “de-platforming”. The formation of government-appointed Grievance Appeal Boards in the coming weeks and months will provide users with a robust grievance appeal mechanism in the form of Appeal Boards. The panels will consider appeals filed by individuals against the decisions of social media platform complaints officers.

As it stands, major social media companies have drawn attention in the past to hate speech, misinformation and fake news circulating on their platforms. Concerns have been raised by some, time and time again, about digital platforms acting arbitrarily by removing content and “de-platforming” users.

The government last year notified IT rules to make digital intermediaries more responsible and accountable for the content hosted on their platforms. IT rules require large digital platforms (with over 50 lakh users) to publish compliance reports every month, mentioning details of complaints received and actions taken. The rules required social media companies to remove contentious content more quickly, appoint grievance officers and participate in investigations.

But even after providing the appeals mechanism through IT Rules 2021, user grievances remained unresolved, prompting the government to step in and come up with an appeals jurisdiction framework. The government has always emphasized that security and trust are public policy goals and missions, and it will do whatever it takes to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place for digital citizens navigating the digital space. social media and online.

After reports that digital platforms acted arbitrarily by removing content and “de-platforming”, the government made it clear that social media companies cannot infringe on the constitutional rights of citizens and that the internet must be a safe and trusted place with all platforms. accountable to their users. There is growing dissatisfaction among a section of users who allege that digital platforms engage in arbitrary acts by removing content or do not respond to grievances quickly enough, despite users flagging them in red.

(PTI Report)

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