Twitter may face legal action over offensive content

The government has warned popular micro-blogging site Twitter of legal action, after the latter failed to co-operate with its attempts to remove webpages carrying offensive content targeting those from the northeast, Times of India reports. The report further adds that the government received a rather delayed response from Twitter, and this is partly attributed to the fact that the company does not have its offices in the country. Reportedly, another interesting move is that the country has approached the US Department of Homeland Security to trace the origin of the inflammatory content that found its way online.

Keeping the Internet free of hateful content (Image credit: Getty Images

Government threatens legal action against Twitter(Image credit: Getty Images



Earlier today, it had been reported that the government is quickly working towards shutting down more than 250 websites in the light of the North-East exodus. The Centre has come down heavily on the channels it believes are playing a role in triggering fear and leading to the exodus. It has been found that morphed images and videos were uploaded to these websites with an aim to incite the Muslim community in the country. Currently, as many as 130 websites have been blocked and according to some Home ministry officials, the rest will follow soon. 


Reportedly, both Facebook and YouTube told the government that the offensive content uploaded on their sites orginated from Pakistan. An IBN Live report quoted the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEIT) as saying, "The initial response from international social networking sites indicates that such content has been hosted from outside the country and to a large extent from a neighbouring country (Pakistan)."


The government last week announced that it would be banning bulk SMS, MMS messages in the country. It was found that hordes of SMS and MMS were being used to instigate fear and cause the exodus. In light of such a situation, the government issued a ban on sending bulk SMS and MMS hoping to nip the rumours in the bud.


The Home Ministry had asked the Department of Telecommunications to implement the order through telecom operators in the country. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated that rumours spread by miscreants in this way had resulted in those of North-Eastern origin leaving their homes across the country. It had been found that the text and multimedia messages contained rumours or misleading information about the Assam violence. These messages were found to contain fabricated videos and supposed threats to people of North-Eastern origin in the country.


During the ban, it will not be possible to send more than five SMS or more than 25 KB of data at a time from a mobile phone. While the move is being projected as a quick fix for a situation spiraling out of hand, citizens across the country are feeling the pinch as SMS is a very popular mode of communication in the country. Clearly, there are many who are not happy with the latest turn of events.

Published Date: Aug 21, 2012 12:59 pm | Updated Date: Aug 21, 2012 12:59 pm