On late Sunday, award-winning investigative journalist and global opinions writer at the Washington Post, Rana Ayyub, received a withheld notice from Twitter. Twitter served the notice to withhold Rana Ayyub’s account, citing the Information Technology Act, 2000.
Rana Ayyub posted a screenshot of the notice on Twitter, asking, “Hello@Twitter, what exactly is this?” Soon the tweet went viral, and solidarity tweets poured in support of the journalist.
The notice read, “In order to comply with Twitter’s obligations under India’s local laws, we have withheld the following account in India under the country’s Information Technology Act, 2000…”
Meanwhile, supporters of the journalist expressed solidarity and accused Twitter of silencing Rana Ayyub at the behest of the Indian government.
The President of the Committee to Protect Journalists – Jodie Ginsberg, tweeted, “So @Twitter is censoring journalist @RanaAyyub’s account in India at the behest of the authorities whom her work seeks to hold to account…Meanwhile the relentless #onlineviolence she faces largely goes unpunished.”
Secretary-General of Amnesty International – Agnes Callamard tweeted, “Seriously @Twitter? @RanaAyyub has spoken truth to power, denouncing hatred, discrimination, religious violence – and for these, you are silencing her? Shame.”
Global Director of Research at the International Center for Journalists – Dr Julie Posetti, tweeted, “Outrageous censorship of investigative journalist @RanaAyyub in India. She struggles to get @TwitterSafety to act against perpetrators of the serious #onlineviolence she experiences but @TwitterIndia appears to have silenced her account at the behest of the Indian authorities.”
A further statement from Twitter is awaited on the matter.