Twitter Blocks ‘Objectionable Accounts With Links’ At Centre’s Behest

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New Delhi: Twitter has started blocking accounts flagged by the Centre for “carrying inflammatory and divisive comments”.

Twitter has assured the government that it is looking into its concerns, and taking stock of the content on the handles mentioned in the notice sent by the IT Ministry under Section 69A of the IT Act, said a Times Of India (TOI) report quoting sources.

The sources were further quoted as saying that of the 257 handles that had originally tweeted with the ‘farmer genocide’ hashtag, 126 have been deactivated. Just a few days ago, Twitter had blocked them, before activating them almost immediately citing “free speech” and because it found the content “newsworthy”. It has now blocked many of them again.

The micro-blogging site, however, said it had not taken any action on accounts of media, journalists, activists and politicians as it violated “the right to freedom of expression under Indian law”.

“We will continue to advocate for the right of free expression on behalf of the people we serve. We are exploring options under Indian law — both for Twitter and for the accounts that have been impacted. We remain committed to safeguarding the health of the conversation occurring on Twitter, and strongly believe that the Tweets should flow,” the company said in a blog post.

Similarly, of the 1,178 handles that the government suspected to have links with Khalistani and Pakistani elements to spread misinformation and provocative content, 583 have been deactivated, the report stated.

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