Twitter suspends 500 accounts in response to Indian govt orders

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi Published: Feb 10, 2021, 11:49 AM(IST)

File photo of Twitter Blue Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Other than suspending accounts, Twitter took 'steps to reduce the visibility of the hashtags containing harmful content' and withheld accounts under 'country withheld content policy', which means these accounts will be available outside of India

Twitter on Wednesday said that it has suspended more than 500 accounts in response to orders by the Indian government. 

In an extensive statement 'to set the record straight', the social media giant said, "We took a range of enforcement actions — including permanent suspension in certain cases — against more than 500 accounts escalated across all Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology orders for clear violations of Twitter’s Rules." 

Indian Government had sent two orders--one on January 31 and another on February 4 for blocking 257 and 1,178 accounts respectively in the backdrop of farmers' protests. The orders pointed out that these accounts were trying to trend genocide and many of them were backed by the Pakistan-Khalistani combo that could play mischief amid the protests. 

Other than suspending accounts, Twitter took 'steps to reduce the visibility of the hashtags containing harmful content' and withheld accounts under 'country withheld content policy', which means these accounts will be available outside of India. 

Twitter had informed the Indian government about its actions on Wednesday itself even as engagement between the two continues. The action comes even as the tiff between the two sides has been escalating, with the Indian govt willing to exercises penal provisions under section 69A of the Indian IT act.  

Meanwhile, Twitter said it has not taken any actions on accounts of news media entities, journalists, activists, and politicians since, "we believe, would violate their fundamental right to free expression under Indian law." Elaborating, "We will continue to advocate for the right of free expression on behalf of the people we serve." 

Twitter, which had in the past blocked 500 accounts, has suspended 500 accounts that were engaged in 'clear examples of platform manipulation and spam'.

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