Abide by Indian law or pack up: Andhra HC to Twitter

The Andhra Pradesh High Court (HC) has issued a stern warning to social media giant Twitter to either abide by Indian law or else move out from the country.

The HC’s warning came in connection with Twitter not following the orders of withdrawing abusive content against judiciary from the social media platform. The matter has been posted for hearing on February 7.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and Justice M. Satyanarayana Murthy on Monday said that Twitter must explain why ‘cease and desist’ orders must not be initiated before the next hearing.

It also stressed that Twitter can’t play “hide and seek” with Indian law and should abide by the law of the land if it wants to operate on Indian soil.

The bench said it is a clear case fit for contempt and criminal proceedings could be initiated against Twitter. The bench also referred to a recent judgment against Google where an FIR has been registered.

Submitting the abusive content to the bench, Assistant Solicitor General S.V. Raju, who appeared for CBI, brought to the notice of the court that such social media posts are still visible on Twitter, despite the court’s clear directions for withdrawal.

S.V. Raju said that Twitter removes abusive content from the social media accounts of those who are Indian nationals. However, the abusive content is still not removed from those who reside in India and declare their nationality with some foreign country. There is no problem with YouTube and Facebook, this has been the case only with Twitter, he added.

Counsel for Twitter Saransh Jain, appearing for senior counsel Arvind Datar, said that the technology has been designed to work in that way and it applies to all social media platforms.

YouTube’s senior counsel maintained that the video-streaming platform has taken down all contentious URLs given by CBI.




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