Twitter has taken action on more than 500 accounts and reduced the visibility of some hashtags in India to comply with 'several' orders from the Indian government after New Delhi threatened legal action against executives with the American social network, Report informs, citing TASS.
Twitter had suspended hundreds of Twitter accounts, several with links to farmers’ protests on agricultural reforms, at the request of New Delhi early last week, but then reversed its decision within hours, citing users’ freedom of speech. On Wednesday, the company said that it was re-suspending most of those accounts, in some cases, permanently, and preventing specific terms from appearing in the Trends section.
The company said Twitter handles are only being blocked in India and will remain visible outside of the country. It believes orders by the Indian government are inconsistent with local law. It also said that no accounts belonging to news media entities, journalists, activists, or politicians were taken down. “To do so, we believe, would violate their fundamental right to free expression under Indian law. We informed MeitY [Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology] of our enforcement actions today,” it said.
“Over the last ten days, Twitter has been served with several separate blocking orders by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act,” the company wrote in a blog post.
“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 San Francisco-headquartered firm added.