Twitter suspends over 500 accounts in India after government warning – TechCrunch

Twitter said on Wednesday that it has acted on more than 500 accounts and reduced visibility of some hashtags in India after New Delhi to follow “several” orders from the Indian government Threatened legal action against officials with American social network.

Twitter was Hundreds of twitter accounts suspended, At the request of New Delhi early last week, with links to farmers ‘protests over agrarian reforms, but then overturned their decision within hours citing users’ freedom to speak. The company said on Wednesday that it would in some cases, permanently, and some conditions prevent it from appearing in the trend section.

The company said that Twitter handles are being blocked only in India and will also appear outside the country as it believes the Indian government orders are inconsistent with local law. It also said that no accounts related to news media institutions, journalists, activists and politicians were taken. “To do so, we believe, would violate their fundamental right to free expression under Indian law. We informed mity [Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology] Today according to our enforcement actions, “it said.

“During the last 10 days, Twitter has been served by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, with several different blocking orders.” Written in a blog post.

“Of these, there were two emergency blocking orders that we temporarily complied with but later restored access to the material in such a way that we believe it is in line with Indian law. The San Francisco-headquartered firm said that when we reported this to MTY, we were served with a non-compliance notice.

There have been millions of farmers Opposition to new laws of New Delhi For more than two months. Twitter, which reaches more than 75 million users in India through its app, has emerged as the most important online platform for those wishing to give their opinion on the subject.

Singer Rihanna, who has more followers on Twitter than any Indian actor or politician, tweeted a CNN news last week about the protests and asked “why aren’t we talking about this !?” The Government of India says that the new laws are intended to help farmers and consumers by streamlining the agricultural supply chain. New Delhi temporarily shut down Internet services amid protests in and around the national capital last month.

Many users tweeted using the hashtag #modiplanningfarmersgenocide aimed at New Delhi’s agricultural reforms. The company said several accounts and hashtags violated Twitter rules, particularly inciting violence, abuse, desire for harm, and threats that could trigger the risk of offline harm.

A Twitter spokesperson told TechCrunch that the hashtags were only supporting farmers or that their opposition was not banned.

in An order to Twitter earlier this month, India had expressed concern that many users were sharing false and intimidating statements and provocative messages. Last week, during its brief period of compliance with the order, Twitter took on several high-profile accounts such as The Caravan (a news outlet that conducts investigative journalism), political commentator Sanjukta Basu, activist Hansraj Meena, actor Sushant Singh, Shashi. The handles were suspended. Shekhar Vempati, chief executive of state broadcasting agency Prasar Bharati and Aam Aadmi Party along with at least two politicians – Priti Sharma Menon and Jarnail Singh – control Delhi’s national capital region.

After twitter Block lifted, New Delhi issued a more serious warning to Twitter and its officials, citing Section 69A of the country, which carries a sentence of imprisonment for “a term which can extend to seven years and also lead to fine.” ” New Delhi said that Twitter “does not accept the role of a court and justifies non-compliance” in India.

“We will continue to advocate for the right to free expression on behalf of those people and we are actively exploring options under Indian law – both for Twitter and for affected accounts.” We are committed to protecting the health of conversations happening on Twitter today, and strongly believe that tweets should flow, ”the company said today.