Indian govt cautions Twitter, expresses 'strong displeasure' on non-compliance of 'block' order

"Misuse of Twitter's platform for execution of such campaigns designed to create disharmony and unrest in India is unacceptable"

In a virtual meeting with Twitter officials, the union government of India has expressed "strong displeasure" on Wednesday regarding non-compliance of order to withhold some farmer's protest accounts on the micro-blogging platform.

The union government during the virtual meet said, "spreading misinformation using incendiary and baseless hashtag referring to 'farmer genocide' when such irresponsible content can provoke and inflame situation is neither journalistic freedom nor freedom of expression as envisaged under Indian Constitution's Article 19".

The statement by the government further added, "Twitter, as a business entity working in India, must also respect the Indian laws and democratic institutions. Twitter is free to formulate its own rules and guidelines, like any other business entity does, but Indian laws which are enacted by the Parliament of India must be followed irrespective of Twitter's own rules and guidelines."

"Misuse of Twitter's platform for execution of such campaigns designed to create disharmony and unrest in India is unacceptable and Twitter must take strong action against such well-coordinated campaigns against India, through compliance with the applicable law of the land," it added.

The centre on Monday had asked Twitter to block nearly 1200 Twitter accounts on the claims of misinformation regarding the protest of farmers. The union government had said that these accounts were backed by Pakistan and secessionist elements.

The Twitter in its blog post said, "We informed MeitY of our enforcement actions today, February 10, 2021. We will continue to maintain dialogue with the Indian government and respectfully engage with them."

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