‘Internet imperialism’ attempt by few firms unacceptable: Prasad

Union Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday told Rajya Sabha that any attempt to create “imperialism of internet” by a few companies would not be tolerated.
Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Ravi Shankar Prasad.

New Delhi

Speaking during Question Hour on the banning of Twitter accounts, Prasad said the Centre welcomes dissent but cannot allow misuse or abuse of social media.
Replying to a query involving climate activist Disha Ravi’s arrest in the ‘toolkit’ document case, Prasad said India is proud to have nearly 140 crore social media users. LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook are free to do business in India. They have empowered ordinary Indians.
“The government welcomes dissent. The issue is not of use of social media, the issue is of abuse and misuse of social media...
“Internet is a powerful invention of human mind, but it should not become the monopoly of few. And we have taken a position, any attempt to create imperialism of internet by few companies is not acceptable,” the Union minister said.
Prasad said her case is under judicial consideration, but the House should consider whether some people should be allowed to “abuse social media” to “defame” India internationally.
He also said there are cases where the dignity of a woman is sought to be compromised by displaying her nude or morphed photo.
In such cases, the minister said, “The guideline is very clear that you have to remove that (content) within 36 hours only if it relates to the unity and integrity of India, safety and security of India, public order, and most importantly, the dignity of the woman...”

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