Twitter locked Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Indian IT Minister, out of his account for almost an hour. The minister later shared a screenshot of the message he received from Twitter, lashing out on the platform for violating the new Indian IT Rules 2021.
Twitter denied access to Ravi Shankar Prasad’s account for a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act)violation. So what is DMCA, and why did Twitter lock the Indian IT Minister’s account for violating it?
What Is DMCA?
The Digital Millenium Copyright Act or the DMCA is a U.S. copyright law. It covers the internet in particular, and if someone thinks their copyright is being violated, they can send a DMCA violation notice to the accused.
Despite being a U.S.-based law, it isn’t only limited to the U.S.A. A DMCA complaint can result in takedown notices for tweets or denying the accused/violator from using their online account.
For instance, if you post someone else’s video without due credit or usage license, the creator can file a DMCA violation against you. As a result, Twitter, Facebook, or any other platform hosting the video from your account will remove it and can lock or suspend your account for violation.
In this case, Twitter locked Ravi Shankar Prasad’s account as it received a DMCA complaint against the Indian IT & Law Minister. The minister posted screenshots of the message he received from Twitter.
Can Twitter Lock Your Account?
While a DMCA takedown is nothing new, Twitter’s actions are seemingly unrelated to the new Indian IT laws. In a string of tweets, the IT Minister also pointed out that the platform was in “gross violation” of Rule 4(8).
According to the new rules, Twitter should inform a user before blocking or removing content from their account. In this case, the Minister claims there was no prior information from Twitter.
While his account was reinstated within an hour, it isn’t a small thing for a platform to lock a minister’s account. Considering that it is a verified account and belongs to the IT Minister of the country.
Amidst the tussle between Twitter and the government of India, the platform is taking increased flak from the administration and its supporters. At the time of writing this article, the #RaviShankarPrasad was trending on Twitter.