“The law of the land is supreme, Twitter must play by the rules,” India’s electronics and information technology minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said last year. “Whoever is a citizen of India and whoever stays in India will have to abide by the laws of the country.”
The firings that Musk has carried out at Twitter will have a deeper impact in India, said Prateek Waghre, policy director for the Internet Freedom Foundation, a New Delhi-based group that promotes digital rights and freedoms.
“There is no full consideration of how complex it is to operate a social media platform. The complex political realities have not been taken into account here,” she said, referring to India.
Back at the Alt News office in Kolkata, the team continues to denounce hate speech. In a recent incident, he flagged an Islamophobic tweet from a Hindu extremist with nearly 600,000 followers that featured a screenshot of an invitation to an interfaith couple’s upcoming wedding. the tweet stay on the platformwhile the couple called off their wedding out of concern for her safety.
“Who is going to explain this context to Elon Musk?” Sinha asked. Musk “has done nothing to address the concerns of South Asian countries that are much more volatile.”
While Sinha said he hopes Twitter doesn’t self-destruct under Musk’s leadership, he is discouraged by recent changes to the platform.
“It’s hard to say what Twitter will have in store because the policies don’t make any sense,” he said. “This is not how politics is done; it is completely arbitrary. You just don’t know what he’s thinking. And it’s scary”.