Twitter Will Defend User Voices: CEO Costolo on Section 66A Verdict

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Twitter Will Defend User Voices: CEO Costolo on Section 66A Verdict

On the day the Supreme Court quashed Information Technology Act's Section 66A as violative of constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech, Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo on Tuesday said in New Delhi the platform will ensure that its users' "voices" are defended, even as it would make it harder for any "abuse" to take place.

Describing the apex court's judgement as "very exciting", Costolo, on his first visit to India, told reporters: "We have a great reputation as a company for defending and respecting our user voices. We will defend and protect our users interests across the world."

Apart from striking down Section 66A, the apex court said it found meaningless, Section 79(3)b of the act, which seeks to assign liabilities on "intermediaries" like Twitter and Facebook, for failing to remove expeditiously, while preserving the evidence of, what is considered objectionable material by the government and its agencies.

"The beauty of Twitter is that people regularly come together to show their wonderful spirit in support of causes," said Costolo.

(Also See: Bringing Freedom to the Internet in India)

Asked about Twitter's policy for dealing with terror groups like ISIS using the platform, he said: "Accounts of terror groups like ISIS are against law and service terms."

Pointing out that Twitter has already made it "a lot easier to report abuse", Costolo said:"We will continue to make it harder (for those who abuse). We have made it a lot easier to report abuse."

Earlier on Tuesday, Twitter launched Twitter Samvad in collaboration with the Indian government so as to allow people to receive tweets as SMSes from government offices, including the Prime Minister's Office.

The service was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his meeting with Costolo. The Twitter CE told media persons after the meeting that "based on Indian technological innovation, Twitter Samvad is dedicated and specially built for the largest democracy of the world".

"As part of the prime minister's Digital India initiative, this tweet-powered service enables citizens to be the first to know about the government's actions by receiving political content in real-time on their mobile devices anywhere in the country."


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