Strictness in international laws, the challenge of content moderation amid free speech
On his way to Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco after the acquisition, Musk tweeted the video saying Let That Sink In. The meaning of this proverb in Hindi is to tolerate and accept what is happening in a peaceful manner. Musk says that radical forces are spreading hatred on Twitter and other social media platforms, dividing between the right and the left. Traditional media institutions are fueling hatred in the midst of clicks. Because of this, the opportunity for communication is lost. Social media companies are making huge profits through illegal means like hate, violence, fake news, pornography, etc.
Musk is talking about freeing the Twitter bird on the one hand and preparing for big profits on the other. In response to Musk’s tweet, the European Union’s digital media chief tweeted that Twitter’s bird in Europe will fly according to European rules. In many countries of the world including Europe and America, strict rules, and laws are being applied against social media companies. In India, the Competition Commission has imposed two big fines on Google and in the coming times, many types of rules and regulations can be applied to social media companies in India.
Incidentally, when Musk was acquiring Twitter, the Indian government decided to set up a committee to hear complaints under the new IT rules. An advocate of unlimited freedom of expression, Musk has been a critic of content moderation. He also opposed Trump’s suspension from Twitter. After the acquisition, massive abuse and hate speech has increased on Twitter. Musk-owned Twitter, amid the contradictions of profit and humanism, fueled by misinformation and misinformation in the name of free speech, could lead to international unrest and chaos.
Twitter has only 1.5 percent, of blue-tick users
Paid users with a blue tick category will get priority in reply mention and search. Will be able to post long videos and audio. Half the ads will be visible compared to normal users. Publishers who contract with Twitter can also read Blue Tick Subscribers paid articles for free. Twitter’s new boss Musk has said that paid services like blue ticks are necessary to reduce bots and empower people. According to him, for this every month 8 dollars i.e. 660 rupees will have to be paid. Instead of a uniform payment rate all over the world, the rate of this duty will be fixed according to the economic capacity of each country.
Twitter has more than 240 million active users all over the world. India is the third largest market for Twitter after the US and then Japan. According to a report by Statista, in 2010, five thousand users got a blue tick facility on Twitter. At present, about 4.24 lakh users have got the facility of Blue Tick, which is 1.5 percent of the total users. 80 crore people in India are dependent on government ration. India has the largest number of users of social media. Despite this, most of the customers would not like to pay a monthly fee for a digital luxury like Blue Tick.
Verification of new IT laws and blue-tick in India
There are rules and regulations in India to conduct KYC of customers, users, and tenants to prevent crime and comply with the law. Similar responsibilities are with social media companies like Twitter, which are called intermediaries in legal language. For their operation, new intermediate rules have been implemented in India under the IT Act in 2021. According to Rule 3, intermediary companies have a legal obligation to keep their platform clean in these 4 ways, under which verification is also necessary –
1. There should not be a violation of any law of India.
2. Fraudulent and misleading information should not be circulated.
3. Remove masked and bogus users.
4. False and untrue things are not broadcast.
After the implementation of the new payment system, criminals and thugs should not misuse the blue tick, implementing it will be a big challenge for Twitter management.
How to recover a monthly fee from government departments
Private companies like Twitter can charge customers any amount in lieu of ticks of any color providing premium services. But according to the law, in India, they have to pay GST and other taxes. But basic verification like a blue tick determines the authenticity and KYC of the customers. It is the legal responsibility of Twitter, Facebook, and other social media companies to do this.
Police, officers, ministers, and many government departments in India use Twitter. How will Twitter recover the monthly charges for blue tick verification from those people? For people who have already got Blue-Tick, how will their Blue-Tick status expire if they do not pay the monthly fee? Will government intervention in all these cases lead to a new type of litigation in the courts? Along with the dialogue and controversy on Twitter, society and the government also need to keep a close watch on these legal aspects.