Twitter takes action against 500 accounts in India

Twitter takes action against 500 accounts in India


fter the government had ordered Twitter to block 1,178 accounts for allegedly spreading misinformation and provocative content on farmers' protests, the microblogging platform took action against more than 500 accounts including permanent suspension in certain cases. The social media giant maintained its stand on protecting the right of free expression and did not take action against accounts of media, journalists, activists and politicians.

However, the accounts that have been withheld will be available everywhere except India. "We have withheld a portion of the accounts identified in the blocking orders under our Country Withheld Content policy within India only. These accounts continue to be available outside of India," Twitter said in a blog post.

"Because we do not believe that the actions we have been directed to take are consistent with Indian law, and, in keeping with our principles of defending protected speech and freedom of expression, we have not taken any action on accounts that consist of news media entities, journalists, activists, and politicians. To do so, we believe, would violate their fundamental right to free expression under Indian law," it said. The microblogging site has informed the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) of the actions taken by them.

Twitter noted that their main motive was to empower voices irrespective of their views and they are working in the same direction in order to provide a platform where people feel safe to freely express their views. "We will continue to advocate for the right of free expression on behalf of the people we serve and are actively exploring options under Indian law - both for Twitter and for the accounts that have been impacted. We remain committed to safeguarding the health of the conversation occurring on Twitter, and strongly believe that the Tweets should flow," it said.

Twitter also said that they were served with several notices by the MeitY under Section 69A of the Information and Technology Act. It noted that out of these, there were two emergency blocking orders to which they temporarily complied with but subsequently restored access to the content in a manner that they believed was consistent with Indian law. Following this, they were served a non-compliance notice by the Indian government.