Twitter Draws Ire Of Indian Government Over Farmer Protest Hashtag
The Indian government has directed Twitter to comply with its order to remove content and accounts related to a hashtag that implies the new agricultural laws would be “genocide” for farmers, according to sources.
The government has also warned that the microblogging platform may face “penal action” for non-compliance of its order.
Government sources said that Twitter had unilaterally unblocked accounts and tweets despite specific order for blocking. Twitter is an intermediary and is obliged to obey direction of government, sources said, adding that the platform may face penal action for not complying with government orders.
Government notice quoted more than half a dozen Supreme Court judgments including of constitutional benches as to what is public order and what the rights of authorities are.
IT ministry sources asserted that Twitter cannot assume the role of court and justify non-compliance.
The Ministry of Electronics and IT had recent directed Twitter to block around 250 tweets and Twitter accounts that were making “fake, intimidatory and provocative tweets” on Jan. 30 with hashtags accusing the Modi government of planning farmers ‘genocide’ without any further substantiation.