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Cops summon Twitter India’s head over violent video dispute

Indian cops have sent a notice to Twitter India’s managing director, Manish Maheshwari, to appear before them. Just east of the capital, police based in the relatively small city of Ghaziabad, have asked him to show up, and record a statement regarding an ongoing case of a viral video.

Earlier this week, the city’s police force filed a case against Twitter, journalists Mohammed Zubair and Rana Ayyub, and online media entity The Wire, for allegedly provoking communal tension through tweets. Said tweets contained a video of an elderly Muslim man being assaulted in Ghaziabad.

The notice sent in Hindi says: “Some people are using Twitter to try and spread animosity and tension between communities. Twitter has taken no against this and allowed these messages to go viral and reach a larger audience across the country. Investigation for this issue is ongoing and your participation is mandatory. You have to report to Loni border police station within seven days.”

This notice comes days after rumors of Twitter losing its safe harbor in India emerged. However, at that time, lawyers suggested that only the court, and not the government could decide if a company is an intermediary or not. Earlier this week, IT Minister RS Prasad criticized Twitter for failing to comply with India’s new social media policing rules on time.

Last month, Delhi police visited Twitter India’s offices to serve a notice for a case related to the manipulated media tag applied by the social network.

However, because of the pandemic, the offices were closed, and they had to return. As the government continues to turn the screws on the company, Twitter will have to steel itself to tackle what seems to be just the beginning of its legal woes in India.

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