Twitteratis from all walks of life had a field day on Friday after the microblogging platform briefly blocked IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad from accessing his account, ratcheting up tensions with the government as it came under renewed attack for not following local IT laws.
Twitter denied Prasad access to his account '@rsprasad' for almost an hour on the grounds that he violated the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, but the minister said the microblogging platform violated new IT Rules that require intermediary or a host of user content to give prior notice before locking access. The IT Minister called out Twitter over the brazen arbitrariness and running its "own agenda".
Soon after Prasad flagged the issue, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted that he too had faced something similar. "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'," Tharoor tweeted.
Tharoor further said: "As chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, I can state that we will be seeking an explanation from @TwitterIndia for the locking of @rsprasad's & my accounts & the rules & procedures they follow while operating in India".
Prasad lashed out at Twitter, and in a series of posts on rival social media platform Koo said it was apparent that his statements calling out the "high handedness and arbitrary actions" of Twitter, had ruffled feathers.
"Friends! Something highly peculiar happened today. 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," Prasad wrote. He also tweeted on the issue.
In a statement, Twitter spokesperson, said, "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 authorised representatives".
But IT Ministry sources claimed that it was obvious that Twitter was not comfortable with the minister's posts, criticizing the platform for non-compliance with the IT Rules and hence it threatened the IT Minister by denying access to his account for about an hour for alleged violation of copyright law of the US.