- 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
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.
And @Twitter locked me out again because to explain the problem, the first tweet in this thread included the offending copyrighted video. Locking is a foolish response to a DCMA notice; disabling the video (which they've now done) should be enough. @Twitter has a lot to learn.— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) June 25, 2021
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.
Raviji, the same thing just happened to me. Clearly DMCA is getting hyperactive. This tweet has been deleted by @Twitter because its video includes the copyrighted BoneyM song"Rasputin": https://t.co/ClgP2OKV1o#DanceIsNotJihadpic.twitter.com/IqQD50WhaU— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) June 25, 2021
After process, a/c unlocked. https://t.co/TCeT8aGxV6
So I won't blame @Twitter for this action or attribute the motives to them that @rsprasad does, though it wasn't pleasant finding my account locked. Clearly they had no choice but to honour a DMCA takedown notice, however stupid & pointless the request was.— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) June 25, 2021
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.
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.— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) June 25, 2021
"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.