Milind Deora's Twitter account 'suspended'?

Last Updated: Fri, Aug 24, 2012 13:52 hrs

The Twitter account of Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Milind Deora stopped working on Friday triggering reports of his id being 'suspended'.

Netizens could not access his account on the micro-blogging site on Friday.

Deora told a national media that his account has gone for ´verification´.

Internet users who tried to access the account of the minister could see a message that said: "The profile you are trying to view has been suspended."

"No controversy... Milind Deora´s #twitter account has been sent for ´verification´...should be up again soon I hear," TMC MP Derek O´Brien tweeted.

The Indian government on Thursday issued certain guidelines to its departments that are using social media.

The government directed its departments that they should not post unverified facts on social media.

"The Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has approved and notified two important frameworks to ensure effective citizen engagement and communication with all stakeholders using various offline as well as online channels including Social Media," read a government statement.

"Media is transforming the way in which people connect with each other and the manner in which information is shared and distributed. In order to encourage and enable government agencies to make use of this dynamic medium of interaction, the Framework and Guidelines for use of Social Media by government agencies in India has been formulated. These guidelines will enable the various agencies to create and implement their own strategy for the use of social media," it said.

"The document will help them to make an informed choice about the objective, platforms, resources, etc. to meet the requirement of interaction with their varied stakeholders," the statement said.

"The guidelines provide an in depth review of types of social media, their characteristics and challenges in their uses. In order to assist the departments to undertake such an engagement, the document provides for a framework and detailed guidelines governing each element of the framework," it said.

"While at a personal level, the uptake and usage of social media is gaining rapid popularity, use and utility of such media for official purpose remain ambiguous," read the statement.

"Many apprehensions remain including, but not limited to, issues related to authorisation to speak on behalf of department/ agency, technologies and platform to be used for communication, scope of engagement, creating synergies between different channels of communication, compliance with existing legislations etc," it said.

"Social Media is being used across the world by different government agencies. It is believed that the Framework and Guidelines will be useful for departments and agencies in formulating their own strategies and will help them in engaging in a more fruitful manner with their respective stakeholders," read the statement.

Social networking sites and its role have gained attentions in recent times in the wake of Assam violence.

Twitter has agreed to cooperate with the Indian government on complaints of objectionable content on six accounts impersonating the official account of Prime Minister's Office (PMO), media reports said Wednesday.

The move came after the the Indian government said it would take legal and all other actions against sites like Twitter if they did not cooperate on tracking and deleting the offensive and inflammatory content posted on the microblogging site in the wake of Assam violence.

The social networking site has now communicated to the PMO that it would be actively working on locating and blocking "unlawful content" after the government itself blocked the six accounts, at least one of which was said to have posted communally sensitive tweets.

Earlier on Tuesday, Internet giants Facebook and Google had said that they are working on requests from the Indian government to remove "inflammatory and hateful content" from their websites that purportedly sparked mass panic amongst northeast Indians living in south and west India.

Facebook, which has about 50 million users in India, acknowledged receiving the requests and said it is working through those requests and responding to the agencies.

Search-engine giant Google, which provides services such as YouTube and Orkut said: "We understand the gravity of the situation... and continue to work closely with relevant authorities."

"Content intended to incite violence, such as hate speech, is prohibited on Google products where we host content, including YouTube, Google+ and Blogger," it added.

Anti-Northeast people rumours, SMSes and images along with real threats triggered a panic exodus of NE people from Indian cities like Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad.

India has blocked 254 website for inflammatory content hosting that triggered a fear psychosis among the people of Northeast who left Indian cities for their home states after they were threatened by some groups with a possible backlash for the Assam situation where the tribal Bodos and Muslim settlers were clashing for over a month causing deaths and displacement.

The government said it is monitoring provocative and harmful content continuously.

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