Twitter has expressed concern for the safety of its employees in India after the company refused to comply with the Indian government’s demand to remove more than a thousand accounts linked to farmers’ protests in the country.
In a statement, Twitter said it had requested the removal of 1,178 listed handles allegedly belonging to Pakistan or the Sikh separatist Khalistan movement and the Sikh separatist Khalistan movement by the Ministry of Information and Technology. The Indian government has been approached for a “formal dialogue”. Propaganda and misinformation.
Materials related to the farmers’ protest have been distributed in the account under official scrutiny, which started in November. Since then, millions of farmers have set up camps in protest areas around Delhi and taken part in large marches and strikes demanding the repeal of new farm laws.
Farmers say the laws were passed without their consultation and that by bringing private sector investment into agriculture, they would leave crop prices at the mercy of big corporations and jeopardize livelihoods.
Last week, the Indian government threatened to fine Twitter employees in India and sentence them to seven years in prison if the company did not comply with their demands to remove certain accounts for spreading “false information”.
Twitter has not yet complied with the Indian government’s latest order, which says “tweets should continue”.
In a statement, the company said: “The safety of our employees is our top priority on Twitter. We are committed to respecting the Government of India and have reached out to the Honorable Minister, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology for a formal dialogue.” ۔
The statement said Twitter’s priority is “free and free exchange of information” and is based on its “commitment to protecting public values and public discourse.”
The Indian government had filed the order against Twitter under a section of the Information Technology Act, which allows the government to take action against social media posts and content that is an alleged threat to public order.
A similar legal demand was made last week when the Indian government asked Twitter to remove 257 accounts, some using the hashtag “#ModiPlanningFirmer Genocide” – a quote from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – which the government claimed was to “provoke the people and create a” public order situation. “
Twitter initially complied, and banned organizations and individuals, including longtime current affairs magazine The Caravan, political commentator Sanjukat Basu, chief executive of Kisan Union Kisan Ekta Morcha and state broadcaster Prasar Bharati. Were The American social media company has been widely criticized for being censored by the Indian government, and Twitter officials blocked accounts after less than six hours after receiving “insufficient justification” for complaints. Done
The non-disclosure of the accounts angered the Indian government, which accused Twitter of violating sovereign laws and said refusing to comply would “invite punitive action”.
Twitter also came under fire recently for suspending the account of Indian journalist Salil Tripathi, a critic of the Modi government and its Hindu nationalist agenda, after tweeting a political poem. After retaliation, Tripathi’s account was restored.
This trend comes at a time when the government has been aggressively cracking down on increasing international attention and scrutiny of protests.
Pop singer Rehana and Swedish environmentalist Greta Thunberg’s tweets pointing to farmers’ motives have sparked outrage, and several Indian journalists have been reporting on controversial elements of the protests to deport them. Has been accused.
Speaking in Parliament on Monday, Modi said India was threatened by “foreign destructive ideology”.
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