Saturday, April 20, 2024

“We disagree with these actions”: X confirms Indian govt gave order to withhold accounts, posts

In a communique through its Global Government Affairs team, social media giants X said that the Indian government has issued executive orders requiring them to act on specific accounts and posts, subject to potential penalties including significant fines and imprisonment.

“In compliance with the orders, we will withhold these accounts and posts in India alone; however, we disagree with these actions and maintain that freedom of expression should extend to these posts,” the post claims.

As the farmer protest began in the second week of February, several accounts covering the agitation have been withheld in India. On February 14 blocking orders affected accounts of Kisan Ekta Morcha’s @kisanektamorcha, @Tractor2twitr, @Tractor2twitr_P run and Progressive Farmers Front’s @FarmersFront.

According to The Hindustan Times, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) has finalised a new emergency blocking orders against 177 social media accounts and links related to the farmers’ protests to maintain “public order”.

The Internet has been shut down in parts of Punjab and Haryana where farmers are camping after they were blocked by Haryana Police from entering the state in their bid to march to Delhi.

“Consistent with our position, a writ appeal challenging the Indian government’s blocking orders remains pending. We have also provided the impacted users with notice of these actions in accordance with our policies. Due to legal restrictions, we are unable to publish the executive orders, but we believe that making them public is essential for transparency. This lack of disclosure can lead to a lack of accountability and arbitrary decision-making,” X said in its post.

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