“We have not taken any action on accounts that consist of news media entities, journalists, activists, and politicians,” Twitter Safety wrote. “To do so, we believe, would violate their fundamental right to free expression under Indian law.”
How, Twitter restricted or in some cases permanently suspended 500 accounts that were part of the initial blocking orders from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. Some accounts were blocked in India only, but can still be accessed outside the country.
Latest Update on Twitter India
Twitter has told India’s government that it won’t restrict accounts belonging to journalists, activists, and politicians in India, despite receiving an order from the country’s federal government.
It is, however, blocking an unspecified number of accounts that don’t fall into these categories from being able to be viewed internally in the country.
In a blog post published Tuesday, the company said that although it had withheld some accounts that India’s government wanted it to block, it wouldn’t block others because doing so would violate free speech.
“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 new media entities, journalists, activists, and politicians,” Twitter’s blog post said. “To do so, we believe, would violate their fundamental right to free expression under Indian law.”
Twitter suspends over 500 accounts in India after government warning
Twitter said on Wednesday it has taken action on more than 500 accounts and reduced visibility of some hashtags in India to comply with “several” orders from the Indian government after New Delhi threatened legal action against executives with the American social network.
Twitter had suspended hundreds of Twitter accounts, several with links to farmers’ protests on agricultural reforms, at the request of New Delhi early last week, but then reversed its decision within hours citing users’ freedom of speech.
The company said on Wednesday that it was re-suspending most of those accounts, in some cases, permanently, and preventing certain terms from appearing in the Trends section.
The company said Twitter handles are only being blocked in India and will remain visible outside of the country as it believes orders by the Indian government are inconsistent with local law.
It also said that no accounts belonging to news media entities, journalists, activists or politicians were taken down. “To do so, we believe, would violate their fundamental right to free expression under Indian law.
We informed MeitY [Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology] of our enforcement actions today,” it said.
“Over the course of the last 10 days, Twitter has been served with several separate blocking orders by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act,” the company wrote in a blog post.
“Out of these, two were emergency blocking orders that we temporarily complied with but subsequently restored access to the content in a manner that we believe was consistent with Indian law. After we communicated this to MeitY, we were served with a non-compliance notice,” the San Francisco-headquartered firm added.
Millions of farmers have been protesting New Delhi’s new laws for more than two months. Twitter, which reaches more than 75 million users through its apps in India, has emerged as the single-most important online forum for people seeking to voice their opinion on this subject.