Government of India toughens the stand against Twitter. Gives list of 1178 anti-India handles for cancellation. Twitter India’s policy head resigns

Finally GOI cracks the whip on Twitter. India Policy Head resigns

Finally GOI cracks the whip on Twitter. India Policy Head resigns
Finally GOI cracks the whip on Twitter. India Policy Head resigns

GOI toughening its stand on the SM platform Twitter to remove 1178 anti-India propaganda handles

With Government of India (GOI) toughening its stand on the Social Media platform Twitter to remove 1178 anti-India propaganda handles managed by Pakistan and Khalistani users, Twitter India’s public policy head Mahima Kaul resigned. According to many people, Kaul was facing the “wrath” after Twitter de-blocked the 257 handles demanded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology for blocking. Twitter has not complied with the latest order of blocking 1178 handles accused of being operated by Pakistanis and Khalistani elements. According to sources, Twitter responded to the Government that the company has, however respecting local laws even while “protecting its foundational principle of free expression.”

The Ministry shared the fresh list flagged by security agencies as accounts of Khalistan sympathisers or backed by Pakistan and operating from foreign territories, threatening public order amid the farmers’ protest. “Many of these accounts were also automated bots that were used for sharing and amplifying misinformation and provocative contents on farmers’ protests,” said an official.

If it is determined to be illegal in a particular jurisdiction, but not in violation of the Twitter Rules, we may withhold access to the content in the location only. In all cases, we notify the account holder directly so they’re aware we’ve received a legal order pertaining to the account.

Recently many right-wing Twitter users have dug up old abusive Tweets of Mahima Kaul against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. From the old Tweets, it was visible that Mahima Kaul was using abusive language against Modi in 2010 and 2011. According to officials, Twitter must comply with the orders of the Government of India and refusal to do so would result in the social media company in violation of various laws. “Twitter’s stand on freedom of expression is an excuse. They are just a platform and must obey the laws or else they will face prosecution,” said officials.

Earlier, on January 31, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had sent a list of 257 handles and tweets to be blocked for similar reasons. Twitter blocked these accounts for a few hours before unilaterally unblocking them shortly after. Recently the Ministry shared the fresh list flagged by security agencies as accounts of Khalistan sympathisers or backed by Pakistan and operating from foreign territories, threatening public order amid the farmers’ protest.

“Many of these accounts were also automated bots that were used for sharing and amplifying misinformation and provocative contents on farmers’ protests,” said officials, adding that the Government of India has taken note of the attitude of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey who has been liking many anti-India Tweets including pro-farmers’ protests. “The Government also objects to Twitter CEO liking some tweets by celebrities as it raises questions on his neutrality,” said officials.

A Twitter spokesperson said the platform was guided by principles of transparency and empowering the public conversation. “If we receive a valid legal request about potentially illegal content on Twitter, we review it under both the Twitter rules and local law. If the content violates Twitter’s rules, the content will be removed from the service,” the spokesperson said.

“If it is determined to be illegal in a particular jurisdiction, but not in violation of the Twitter rules, we may withhold access to the content in the location only. In all cases, we notify the account holder directly so they’re aware we’ve received a legal order pertaining to the account. Our goal is to respect local law while protecting our foundational principles of free expression,” the spokesperson said. Countering Twitter’s response, many Ministry officials said that Twitter has to abide the laws of India and they can’t act as judge and jury and will face prosecution if they do not abide the Government’s orders.

Meanwhile, by mid-February, Supreme Court is expected to hear the petition by lawyer Mehek Maheshwari seeking a regulatory mechanism for Social Media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. In his petition, Mehek Maheshwari detailed the political bias and shadow ban kind tricks of Twitter against their ideological opponents[1].

References:

[1] Petition in Supreme Court for regulatory mechanism for Social media platforms like Twitter. Accuses Twitter for bias, shadow ban and change of algorithmJan 05, 2021, PGurus.com

10 COMMENTS

  1. For each violation(out of 1178), they must block Twtr for random hour. Redirect user to block page which explains reason. This way people will learn Twtrs true color. Blocking entirely may not be good solution.

  2. Jack is the CEO of Square, isn’t he?

    Why do we support him and Square if he has an agenda ?

    Can’t we start by boycotting Square products and services as consumers?

  3. Why not ban Twitter in India !
    Oh sorry
    A million trolls will be out of work
    And fake millions will cease to follow their Idol who will also no longer be around in Twitter.
    Of course then ANI etc will have their jobs cut out.

    • A Desi Indian Version of of Twitter, Facebook, YTube & Whatsapp is highly imperative on several counts

      (1) India’s sovereignity is under threat & these Social Medial Platforms will grow disproportionately powerful to Install/uninstall Indian Governments – just like Trump was trumped out.

      (2) Allowing these alient platforms to monopolize the Indian Markets will enable them, albeit gradually, to blackmail the Indians

      (3) Desi Versions of Social Media Platforms will generate twice or even thrice the number of Jobs presently offered by the Alien Versions.

      WITH INDIA HAVING THE BEST, MOST PRODUCTIVE SOFTWARE TALENT, I AM APPALLED AT US HAVING TO RELY UPON THESE VIDESHI VERSIONS.

      • You should be appalled. The worlds oldest producer of knowledge are now nothing but consumers.

        All our work is now as digital coolies. No IP belongs to us.

      • Use Indian microbloggingtool – KOO that too in any Indian language you wish to communicate. It is gaining huge subscription every hour .

  4. Irrespective of what Twitter does ban it for a while to give glimpse of what Indian Govt is capable of. Let Jack Let dorsey write a page essay and read out loud to explain why the ban should be lifted.

    • Do you know what would happen if this was YouTube? Mullions of lives would be impacted. We allowed foreigners to control our people livelihood.

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