Bengaluru, NFAPost: Union Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Friday said the law of the land has to be followed, despite billionaire Elon Musk taking over Twitter.

“We are absolutely clear that when the ownership changes, the law of the land has to be followed by every company,” he told reporters in a press conference when he was asked to comment on Musk’s takeover of Twitter.

The minister is in the city to attend the SemiconIndia 2022 conference which was virtually inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Minister of State for Electonics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the central government’s stand on this development is totally agnostic.

“Our response to all the platforms is that there are laws. There are rules. And those rules and laws plus the expectations of the Government of India and Indian consumers remain intact regardless of who is the owner and who is not. Our stand is totally agnostic,” he said, joining the issue with Vaishnaw.

Admitting the existence of algorithmic biases, Chandrasekhar on Thursday had stressed the need for creating a tool to ensure accountability on algorithmic coding.

On Wednesday, Congress leader Sashi Tharoor, who is also parliamentary committee head on information technology, had urged the panel to take action against Twitter if it is found guilty of either interfering with free speech in India or the opposite by permitting hate speech and abuse.

As per the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, social media platforms are mandated to publish monthly transparency reports with details of complaints received from users in India and the actions taken.

Under the new IT rules, big digital and social media platforms have to publish monthly compliance reports.

Earlier this week, the Twitter board accepted Elon Musk’s $44 billion offer and the Tesla CEO made it clear that he would promote ‘free speech’ on his platform going forward.

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

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