Twitter suspends over 500 accounts following Indian govt directive


Farmers protest has been a hot and trending topic on micro-blogging platform Twitter.

Twitter suspended several accounts but did not block accounts of news media entities, journalists, activists, and politicians. 

On Wednesday, social media platform Twitter suspended over 500 accounts and blocked access to several other accounts within India as it partly complied with the Indian government’s directive to block to curb misinformation and provocative content on farmers’ protest. On Monday, the Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology (IT) asked Twitter to remove 1,178 accounts for allegedly propagating misinformation and provocative content on the farmers protest.

However, Twitter through a blog post said that it had not suspended accounts consisting of “news media entities, journalists, activists, and politicians as doing so would violate their fundamental right to free expression” guaranteed under India’s law. It said: “Transparency is the foundation for promoting healthy public conversation.”

Twitter also said that it will continue to promote and support the right to free expression for its user and that it is actively exploring options under Indian law both for Twitter and the accounts that have been affected. It also said that it is working towards reducing the visibility of hashtags that may include harmful content and will take measures to stop the trending of such hashtags on the platform and to prohibit them from appearing as recommended search items.

The Indian government responded quite coldly to Twitter’s action. It said that Twitter posting a blog post before the engagement with the government is “unusual.” As we have reported earlier, Twitter had asked to meet up with IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to engage in formal dialogue. 

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