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Musk’s takeover of Twitter will not change India’s social media norms: minister

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Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics and IT, stated on Wednesday that despite the Twitter board accepting Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover offer, the Indian guidelines for social media platforms will not change in order to protect users’ data privacy and protect them from harm.

The minister stated at the ‘Raisina Dialogue 2022’ here that the government’s guidelines on social media intermediaries, including Twitter, will remain unchanged.

“Despite Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, IT guidelines governing the social media platforms remain the same. Social media needs to go beyond mere criminality and also expand focus on user harm when it comes to regulations,” Chandrasekhar told the audience.

The minister went on to say that there are algorithmic biases and that “we need to create a mechanism to ensure accountability on algorithmic coding.”

According to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (IT Rules), social media platforms are required to publish monthly transparency reports detailing complaints received from Indian users and actions taken, as well as removal actions taken as a result of automated detection.

Big digital and social media platforms with more than 5 million users are required to publish monthly compliance reports under the new IT rules 2021.

Earlier this week, the Twitter board accepted Musk’s $44 billion offer, and the Tesla CEO stated unequivocally that he will promote ‘free speech’ on his platform in the future, which has irritated many.

Musk has stated that free speech is essential “bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated”.

If Twitter relaxes its stance on content moderation, more bullying, violent speech, hate speech, misinformation, and other abusive content may gain traction.

“This may make Twitter less palatable to newcomers who were already wary about posting in a ‘public square’.

“It could also disincentivise advertisers from investing their budgets with the platform,” according to reports.

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Brendan Taylor

Brendan Taylor was a TV news producer for 5 and a half years. He is an experienced writer. Brendan covers Breaking News at Insider Paper.

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