- India asks Twitter to delete 1,178 accounts, according to a Technology Ministry source.
- The state claims the account is sponsored by Pakistan or operated by supporters of the Sikh separatist movement.
- Many of these reports “share, reinforce misinformation and provocative content from the ongoing farmer protests”.
India asks Twitter Inc to remove 1,178 accounts it claims are sponsored by Pakistan. Also operated by supporters of the Sikh separatist movement, two technology ministry sources said Monday.
Indian security officials said some accounts kept outside the country, a source said. The order also includes the Twitter accounts of several supporters of Sikh’s independent hometown in Khalistan.
Furthermore, many of these reports share and corroborate misinformation and provocative content about the ongoing farmer protests, the source added.
Tens of thousands of farmers have been camping on the outskirts of India’s capital, New Delhi for months. They are demanding the repeal of new agricultural laws.
According to sources, Twitter has not complied with government regulations issued on February 4.
India’s Ministry of Information Technology did not immediately respond to a request for comment
Twitter did not confirm or deny whether it complied with the government’s latest order. But said it was reviewing content according to local rules and laws when it received a legal request for potentially illegal posts.
Twitter said in response
“If the content violates Twitter’s rules, it will remove from the service,” the company said in a statement. “If it turns out to be illegal in a certain jurisdiction but doesn’t violate Twitter policies, the only way we can deny access to the content is on the site.”
The American social media company also said it was carefully examining claims of laws that could limit freedom of expression. It also adding that it was very careful to consider claims related to journalists or political speeches.
Farmers are protesting against the repeal of new agricultural laws, which they believe benefit private buyers at the expense of producers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government says reforms will open up new opportunities for farmers.
Earlier this month, India asked Twitter, but they refused to comply with the Indian Government’s policy of banning more than 250 accounts and posts. This puts the social media giant at the center of a political storm in one of its main markets.
Its CEO Jack Dorsey sparked a storm in India last week after liking a tweet suggesting company should consider introducing emoji for farmer protests.