'Who Is Twitter To Decide What Is Free Speech': Twitter Faces Modi Govt's Ire Over Non-ComplianceTwitter App

Twitter could soon face legal action from the Indian government if it fails to comply with requests from the government to delete around 1,400 handles on the platform that have instigated violence through farmers’ protests, reports The Economic Times.

Officials aware of the matter said that while Facebook and Google’s YouTube have “proactively” complied with similar requests from the ministry of electronics & IT (MeitY), “Twitter is being the only exception.”

“There is a serious law and order situation in the country, and with the revelation of the toolkit, it is clear that there is involvement of international syndicates and countries like Pakistan to fuel the tension. Who is Twitter to decide what is free speech?” an official said.

The Indian government had sent a fresh notice to Twitter, directing it to block 1,178 more accounts believed to be linked to the Khalistan sympathizers and those backed by Pakistan.

According to sources, the new notice was sent to Twitter on Thursday (04 February) and the company was yet to comply with the directions.

Earlier this month, the IT ministry had asked the micro-blogging platform to block 257 accounts under the Section 69A of the IT Act. These accounts spread a false hashtag alleging a farmer genocide being planned by the centre.

However, Twitter had unilaterally unblocked accounts and tweets despite the government order.

The MeitY warned the social media platform of penal action over non-compliance of its order to remove accounts and tweets which falsely alleged farmer genocide in the country.

It must be noted here that Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 empowers the government to suspend a platform in national interest and for public order. Last year, Indian government exercised this provision by blocking over 200 Chinese apps.

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