Shashi Tharoor Faces Twitter Lockout After Posts For Ravi Shankar Prasad

Shashi Tharoor posted a video explaining how sharing copyrighted material on Twitter results in action like it did for Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Shashi Tharoor Faces Twitter Lockout After Posts For Ravi Shankar Prasad

Shashi Tharoor questioned Twitter's actions in following the DMCA.

Highlights

  • Shashi Tharoor said he too was briefly locked out of his Twitter account
  • He had posted an explainer on why Ravi Shankar Prasad was blocked
  • Mr Tharoor said his parliamentary committee will seek an explanation
New Delhi:

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Friday said he too was briefly locked out of his Twitter account after he posted an explainer on why Union Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad was blocked from posting from his handle.

Earlier in the day, Mr Tharoor posted a series of tweets saying that it was because of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DMCA which governs most US-based web platforms that the minister was blocked from access his Twitter account and perhaps not vendetta as Mr Prasad had alleged.

Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday said Twitter had denied him access to his account for almost an hour today over complaints that he violated copyright law by posting clips of himself from television debates.

"Twitter denied access to my account for almost an hour on the alleged ground that there was a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of the USA and subsequently they allowed me to access the account," Mr Prasad said in a series of tweets.

"It is apparent that my statements calling out the high handedness and arbitrary actions of Twitter, particularly sharing the clips of my interviews to TV channels and its powerful impact, have clearly ruffled its feathers," Mr Prasad added.

A Twitter spokesperson confirmed the incident, saying, "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. Per our copyright policy, we respond to valid copyright complaints sent to us by a copyright owner or their authorized representatives."

His new run-in with Twitter comes amid the platform's months-long clash with the BJP-led government at the centre over issues ranging from requests to take down tweets supporting the farmers' protest, discrediting posts by leaders of the BJP and more recently new regulation.

The new rules for social networking websites - which include appointing India-based compliance executives and other conditions - have led to a protracted feud, raising concerns that Twitter may no longer enjoy protection against user-generated content.

Soon after Mr Prasad's outburst, several Twitter users including senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, said they too had faced similar action.

Mr Tharoor also said that his parliamentary committee will seek an explanation from Twitter for blocking Mr Prasad and his account.