After Govt Warns Of Penal Action, Twitter Starts Blocking Accounts Spreading Khalistani Propaganda, Provocative HashtagTwitter

After the government adopted a stern stance on Twitter's non-compliance to IT Ministry's request for action on accounts spreading inflammatory propaganda on the social media platform, the micro-blogging site has finally started blocking the accounts flagged for "carrying inflammatory and divisive comments", reports Times of India.

Twitter had earlier blocked these accounts over comments made by them on the platform using the hashtag #ModiPlanningFarmerGenocide. However, later it reactivated them citing "free speech" and because it found the content "newsworthy".

After Twitter reactivated these accounts, the IT Ministry had sent a notice to the micro-blogging site under the section 69A of the IT act.

"Twitter is an intermediary and they are obliged to obey the directions of the government. Refusal to do so will invite penal action," the IT ministry said in a notice to the company.

It added that the "motivated campaigns" on the platform and the controversial hashtag around Prime Minister Narendra Modi were being run to "abuse, inflame and create tension in society on unsubstantiated grounds".

The government warned Twitter that failure to comply with its order would invite action against the company under Section 69A [3] of the IT act, under which senior officials of the micro-blogging site could face jail term of up to seven years, and a financial penalty.

Following the notice, Twitter assured the government that it is looking into the concerns raised by the government and taking stock of the content on the handles flagged by it.

Twitter has now deactivated 126 of the 257 handles that had originally tweeted using the hashtag, sources were quoted in the report as saying.

It has reportedly also deactivated 583 of the 1,178 handles that the government suspected to have links with Khalistani and Pakistani elements to spread misinformation and provocative content.

However, a full compliance of the government order is yet to be reached.

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