Twitter accepts it barred Ravi Shankar Prasad from accessing account, says was responding to copyright plaint

NEW DELHI : Twitter on Friday confirmed the claim by Union Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad that it had denying access to his account for almost an hour.
“We can confirm that the Honourable Minister’s account access was temporarily restricted due to a DMCA notice only and the referenced Tweet has been withheld,” Twitter said in a statement today.
“Per our copyright policy, we respond to valid copyright complaints sent to us by a copyright owner or their authorized representatives,” a Twitter spokesperson said.
This morning Union Minister Prasad was locked out of his accont on the microblogging platform. Although the account of the Minister was visible for public viewing, Twitter did not permit anyone authorized to access this account to log in or make any post.
In a series of posts on Koo, an Indian microblogging platform, the Minister slammed Twitter and said its actions indicate that “they are not the harbinger of free speech that they claim to be” and are “only interested in running their own agenda”.
Prasad said no matter what any platform does they will have to abide by the new IT Rules fully and there shall be no compromise on that.
“Twitter’s actions were in gross violation of Rule 4(8) of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 where they failed to provide me any prior notice before denying me access to my own account,” he wrote on Koo.
Prasad, who is also Law Minister, said it is apparent that his statements “calling out the high handedness and arbitrary actions of Twitter, particularly sharing the clips of interviews to TV channels and its powerful impact, have clearly ruffled its feathers.”
“Twitter’s actions indicate that they are not the harbinger of free speech that they claim to be but are only interested in running their own agenda, with the threat that if you do not tow the line they draw, they will arbitrarily remove you from their platform,” he said.
Prasad, who is also Communications Minister, said it is now apparent as to why Twitter is refusing to comply with the Intermediary Guidelines because if Twitter does comply, “it would be unable to arbitrarily deny access to an individual’s account which does not suit their agenda”.
The minister said in the past several years, no television channel or any anchor has made any complaints about copyright infringements with regard to these news clips of his interviews shared on social media. (AGENCY)