So, some thoughts on the deplatforming of Kangana Ranaut by Twitter.

1. This is probably the first instance where Twitter has deplatformed a significant (and politically active) user in the country. It creates for an interesting debate.

2. Indian politicians were worried:
In January 2021, @Tejasvi_Surya had raised concerns about Twitter's exercise of such power when Donald Trump had been deplatformed. He had called for amendments to India's approach to Intermediary Liability to address such situations.
This is a wake-up call to the threat to democracies posed by “unregulated big tech companies”, he said. “If they can do this to POTUS, they can do this to anyone”.
Platform regulation has been an important issue for him. He's also on the Parliamentary

committee that heard Facebook's Ajit Mohan's deposition. And mine, just before Ajit deposed.

3. What can Kangana do?
a. She has already said on instagram that what she can't do on twitter, she can do there. Reminder: after twitter deplatformed Trump, Facebook followed.
So will instagram be next? IMO,this will only happen if she consistently does there what we've seen her do on twitter. (I'll explain this later)

b. She can dispute the deplatforming, under the new IT Rules 2021. These were passed Under the IT Rules 2021,
which were passed shortly after @Tejasvi_Surya 's comments about Trump deplatforming. If Kangana disputes and Twitter still refuses, the IT Ministry could possibly step in. Yes, she could be back.

6. Should Kangana's account have been suspended? It's likely. She called for
violence ("kill"), and free speech isn't protected when there is incitement to violence. If someone is a repeat offender, platforms can remove users (and justify it).

7. This is not new! Kangana's account was temporarily suspended in January regarding her comments on Tandav
In december there was even a court case against her, for her to be deplatformed from Twitter for (allegedly)“spreading continuous hatred, disharmony in the country and attempting to divide the country with her extremist tweets.”
8. Should platforms have the right to remove users? They're private entities performing a public function. One would assume that private entities should be free to do what they want on their private platform. But it's tricky when they're important carriers of free speech.
They shouldn't have a free run re censorship either, given their importance. We need to discuss this more.

9. Will Kangana's followers users move to Koo (or mastodon... heh)? I seriously doubt it. Some people (read: trolls) need targets. Echo chambers are boring for them
If someone isn't getting pissed off at them, or getting upset because of what they're saying, toh khana kaise hazam hoga? They thrive on attention.

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On the Shreya Singhal judgment, I'm inclined to agree with Pranesh here

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More from @nixxin

5 Mar
I'll answer this.


1. Censor board doesn't have the capacity to deal with 20000+ movies being produced in India annually. Where will it find the capacity to apply its mind to all the movies being produced for OTT globally? The lag will destroy consumer choice

2. The need is to move from censorship and govt certification to self certification. And more detailed certification than just a rating. OTT streaming services already do this and have norms. If someone violates the law, prosecute them.

3. All streaming is pull content. People are choosing to watch something: not being pushed at them. Norms for broadcast cannot apply here. Not the same thing. You can't treat it the same as TV.

Read 12 tweets
20 Feb
I was on @alexandermats show on ET Now yesterday, to discuss Facebook and Google vs Australia when it comes to News content, and how they've taken different approaches.

The key question: can this happen in India?

A thread 👇

1. What's going on?
A proposed News Media Bargaining Code released by the Australian competition watchdog forces Google and Facebook to enter into arbitration with news publishers to decide a price for News on their platforms.…

Price for Google to surface news. For users to share on FB.

2. Power imbalance: Australian competition commission believes there's a power imbalance between News publishers and social media platforms. This is true.

3. Google has done a deal with Rupert Murdoch's News corp

Read 18 tweets
17 Feb
So, a significant day for us at @medianama today. An especially difficult decision for me to make, since I've always felt a pull from a public interest perspective that information, in order to be effective and usable by a wider group, needs to be open, and accessible

Our goal has always been to help bring about a deeper understanding of the forces shaping the Internet, especially in India, with the mission to foster an Internet that is open, fair, competitive and global.

Our work has provided insight that has helped shape tech policy,

encouraged public participation in policy-making, provided policy & business decision makers with food for thought, been a source for papers, research reports & books, as well as helped journalists at other publications understand what’s important.

Read 7 tweets
29 Oct 20
MEITY, NIC & NeGD, in response to @OfficialSauravD RTI say they have no info on who created Aarogya Setu.
In this thread, I'll connect some dots:
1.Much of this info is in public domain. Then why no official documents? To protect those who built it? Or
to protect bureaucrats who authorised the building of this app by third party volunteers, possibly, without requisite paperwork? List of Aarogya Setu volunteers had been published on Github btw…
2. Volunteers in govt tech: in Aadhaar, some of Nandan Nilekani's team were "volunteers", but via an official process. So much of tech+policy development done by (Nandan linked) iSpirt "volunteers" is officially (govt) undocumented or invisible.
3. Volunteers have a unique+
Read 25 tweets
16 Oct 20
The Indian government has today "clarified" it's position on Foreign Investment in Digital News Media in India.

It is restricting FDI to 26%, in line with print, and not just in media companies, but in news aggregators too.…

Thread 👇 (1/n)
1. Govt is positioning this as a benefit. That's incorrect. FDI has been reduced from 100% to 26%. How do we know it was 100%? NewsCorp had bought VCCircle in 2015:… They've now sold it at a loss to Mint, after the FDI policy was announced.
2. This move strengthens the traditional media lobby against digital companies. Traditional media co's had formed a digital lobby group in 2018. This is probably their doing:… (3/n)
Read 11 tweets
18 Sep 20
The removal of Paytm and Paytm First Games from the Google Play Store covers two interesting #techpolicy issues:

1. Platform Power: Google and Apple have an operating system duopoly. Remember that you can't upload an app store app on the Google Play Store. Thus
They have the power of the default. It's also an app store duopoly. They leverage this duopoly to control entire ecosystems, and effectively control the app economy of a country. The TRAI Chairman @rssharma has spoken about "platform neutrality". Can they ban apps from
their platform, without repercussions? Of course they can, as a pvt platform. They don't want to enable realmoney gaming & gambling? That's their prerogative. But there's a challenge when apps don't have any other significant options.

2. Realmoney gaming: This is where it
Read 13 tweets

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