Social media giant Twitter on Saturday restored the verified status of RSS chief Mohan Bhagawat and his colleagues namely Suresh Soni, Arun Kumar, Suresh Joshi and Krishna Kumar after first removing the blue tick from their accounts. This came hours after the ministry of electronics and information technology in the Indian government served ‘one last notice’ to Twitter on the non-compliance of new IT Act.
The microblogging site had come under fire from the Hindutva brigade for removing the blue tick from RSS leaders and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu. According to reports, Twitter had removed their verified status for a prolonged period of inactivity.
While Bhagwat has not posted a single tweet since creating his account in May 2019, the last tweet posted by Naidu from his account was in July last year.
Angry right-wing supporters had demanded a ban on Twitter in India as hashtag #BanTwitterIndia became a top trend. The Indian government, meanwhile, sent a notice to Twitter for not complying with the new IT Act even after the due date had lapsed.
The notice by the Indian government read, “Twitter Inc. is hereby given one last notice to immediately comply with the Rules, failing which the exemption from liability available under Section 79 of the IT Act, 2000 shall stand withdrawn and Twitter shall be liable for consequences as per the IT Act and other penal laws of India.”
The new IT Act, although described draconian by many, came into effect on 26 May. Twitter has till date not complied with the new act. The ministry had said in its hard-hitting notice, “The refusal to comply demonstrates Twitter’s lack of commitment and efforts towards providing a safe experience for the people of India and its platform… it is beyond belief that Twitter Inc has doggedly refused to create mechanisms that will enable the people of India to resolve their issues on the platform in a timely and transparent manner and through fair processes, by India based, clearly identified resources. Leave alone proactively creating such a mechanism, Twitter Inc is in the inglorious bracket of refusing to do so even when mandated by law.”