Could Twitter, WhatsApp face ban in India? Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad replies

Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday said the government is not in favour of banning any social media platform. If half of the government is on Twitter, including Prime Minister and President, it shows how fair the government is, but social media intermediaries, a status that Twitter has recently lost, have to follow local rules, the minister said to news agency ANI.

On WhatsApp, he said all ordinary users can continue to use it. “It is my word,” the minister said. The minister’s remarks come amid the ongoing face-off between the government and Twitter which escalated as the government withdrew the legal protection — that all social media intermediaries in the country enjoy — from Twitter.

On the issue of WhatsApp, which has taken a legal path against the new I-T rules, the minister said the government does not want all WhatsApp messages to be decrypted. “If any content goes viral, causing mob lynching, riots, killing, showing women in nudity, sexual exploitation of children, only in these limited categories, you will be asked to declare who started the mischief,” the minister said.

In case if an inciting message originated outside the country, then the government wants to know who started it in India, the minister added.

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