MeitY responds to Twitter’s ‘Right Of Free Expression’ blog, Says Unusual

  • In a blog post, Twitter said that we will continue to advocate for the right of free expression on behalf of the users we serve.
  • Transparency is the foundation for promoting healthy public conversation, a blog post said.
  • Twitter said that it has informed MeitY of its enforcement actions on February 10, 2020.

Days after in a response to blocking orders by the Indian government, Twitter, Today in a blog post said that the orders were inconsistent with the Indian law and that for some accounts, it would restrict access within India instead of a permanent ban.

Twitter said that the action has taken on some blocking requests that were made by the Indian government in the last 10 days, however, it has not taken any action on the accounts that consist of news media entities, journalists, activists, and politicians as it believes that doing such thing would violate their fundamental right to free expression under the Indian law.

“We informed MeitY of our enforcement actions today, February 10, 2021. We will continue to maintain a dialogue with the Indian government and respectfully engage with them,” Twitter stated.

“The company will continue to advocate for the right of free expression on behalf of the people we serve,” Twitter added in its blog.

Meanwhile, The company has restricted some accounts that were on the list of blocking requests within the country. Such accounts will be accessible outside India, Twitter tweeted.

Amid the ongoing tussle between both parties, Twitter senior management has sought a meeting with IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad regarding the concerns of its employees’ safety.

However, reports told that IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has turned down Twitter’s request.

Twitter’s response legal requests from the India government.

  • Twitter claims that it has given permanent suspension to over 500 accounts escalated across all MeitY orders for clear violations of Twitter’s Rules. 
  • Additionally, it has also taken certain steps to reduce down the visibility of the hashtags containing harmful content, which included prohibiting them from trending on Twitter and appearing as recommended search terms.
  • Separately, Twitter had withheld a portion of some accounts that were identified in the blocking requests under the content withheld policies within India only, such accounts will be visible outside India.

“We believe transparency is the foundation to promoting healthy public conversation on Twitter and to earn trust. It is critical that people understand our approach to content moderation and how we engage with governments around the world, and that we are transparent about the consequences and the results of this work.” Twitter said in its official statement.

Also Read: Govt Asks Twitter To Remove 1,178 Accounts For Posting Provocative Content

On February 1, 2020, Twitter had blocked 250 accounts upon the request from the Indian government. The platform had blocked those accounts for promoting #ModiPlanningFarmerGenocide and posting provocative tweets related to the protests.

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