The popular social media site Twitter is locked in a confrontation with the Indian government over the issue of about half-a-dozen accounts that the Centre feels “misrepresent” the Prime Minister’s Office. As of now Twitter is refusing to shut down these errant websites.
It is pertinent that the clash over the accounts is playing out at a time when the government has also asked social media to remove sites posting incendiary and untrue information on the Assam riots and its fallout. On this count, too, Twitter hosts certain pages found to be objectionable.
The “imposters” have put up accounts that mimic the prime minister’s official @PMOIndia handle. PMO wrote to Twitter in June seeking action against these accounts but with the site not complying till date, service providers have been asked to block these pages.
Efforts to close accounts that mimic the government is the latest friction point between the government and social media.
Over the past year, particularly in the wake of social media becoming a catalyst for anti-corruption protests directed against the government, efforts have been made to rein in sites like Google and Facebook.