Twitter said on Wednesday it has taken actions on more than 500 accounts and reduced visibility of some hashtags in India in the past 10 days to comply with “several” orders from the Indian government after New Delhi threatened to take action against executives with American social network for not obeying its notices.
Twitter said since January 26, when protests from farmers in India took a violent turn and misinformation started to spread on the platform, the company has taken actions — including in some cases, permanently suspension — on hundreds of accounts that violated its rules and prevented certain terms from appearing in the Trends section.
“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 (MeitY), Government of India, under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act. 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 company said as it attempts to be transparent about the steps it has taken in the world’s second largest internet market.
The company said it has also withheld a portion of the accounts that New Delhi had ordered to be blocked, keeping them available outside of the country. It did not take any action on accounts that consist of news media entities, journalists, activists, and politicians, the company said. “To do so, we believe, would violate their fundamental right to free expression under Indian law. We informed MeitY of our enforcement actions today, February 10, 2021,” it said.
This is a developing story. More to follow…