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Farmer Protest: Twitter Suspends over 500 Accounts after Government's Order

Prity Barman
Prity Barman

On Wednesday, Twitter said it removed more than 500 accounts and blocked links to many others in India as it partially entered a government order to curtail the spread of misinformation and provocative material around protests by farmers.

In a blog post, Twitter said it would not ban accounts comprising of journalists, activists and politicians from news media entities, as doing so would violate their constitutional right to freedom of speech protected under the constitution of the world. The nation, however, called Twitter's unprecedented decision to publish the blog post before a slated conversation on the topic with the IT Secretary, as sought by the US corporation.

The Secretary of IT was to engage with Twitter's senior management upon Twitter's invitation for a meeting with the administration. In this light, an unprecedented IT ministry published a blog post before this interaction said in its response to Koo, a homegrown social networking site, the government would soon share its response to the post on Koo said. 

The Twitter blogpost on Wednesday morning reiterated that the microblogging site would continue to fight for its users' freedom of free speech and that it is aggressively investigating alternatives under Indian law , for Twitter and for the affected accounts.

The growth comes in the context of the government asking Twitter to pull down 1,178 accounts with links to supporters from Pakistan and Khalistan. In all, Twitter has taken measures against more than 1,000 accounts—500 as demanded by the government and an equivalent amount discovered by the organization engaged in exploiting and spamming the website.

In connection with the unrest of farmers over the latest pro-market agricultural rules, the state had tried to block 257 tweets and handles. Twitter agreed, only to see the pages reinstated hours later. Measures have also been taken to decrease the exposure of hashtags containing harmful content, including the prohibition of Twitter themes and the appearance of suggested search words.

The business could not include descriptions of the practices against which action was taken. It did not believe that it took any action on stories consisting of news media organisations, journalists, campaigners, and lawmakers.

Twitter said that its global staff 'judiciously and impartially' took action on content, patterns, tweets, and accounts that violated its laws. The actions that were taken included avoiding the appearance of such words in the Patterns segment and suspending more than 500 accounts. Under Section 69A of the IT Act, the firm said it had been issued with several different blocking orders by MeitY. 

Twitter also stated that it was issued with a non-compliance notice after this was reported to Meity. It said that they briefly complied with two emergency blocking orders, but ultimately restored access to the content in a way that they feel was compliant with Indian law. The concepts underpinning the Open Internet and free speech are constantly at stake around the world.

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