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Twitter rejects India's orders to block 1,178 accounts

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 Twitter rejects India's orders to block 1,178 accounts

The Twitter platform indicated that it is seeking to hold talks with the Indian technology minister, days after the country asked the US social media giant to delete 1,178 accounts that it says is spreading wrong information about the ongoing protests of farmers.

Two sources at the Ministry of Technology said: New Delhi wrote to Twitter on February 4 asking it to remove accounts that it said were supported by its arch rival Pakistan or run by sympathizers of Sikh separatists, but the company has yet to comply.

Twitter explained that it believes that the Indian government's orders to block accounts are inconsistent with local law, and that it will not agree to a total ban for some accounts, but rather restrict access within India instead.

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The social media company said in a post: While we have taken a range of measures, including the permanent suspension, against more than 500 accounts that were part of the government order, not all accounts will be blocked.

She added: “These accounts are still available outside India because we do not believe that the measures we have been directed to take are in accordance with Indian law.”

The Indian security services said: Some accounts are managed from outside the country and that they share and amplify wrong information and provocative content about farmers' protests.

A spokeswoman for Twitter in India said: We continue to work with the government of India from the site of respect and have communicated with the esteemed minister for a formal dialogue, adding that the safety of its local employees is a top priority for the company.

Tens of thousands of farmers have camped on the outskirts of the Indian capital, New Delhi, for months, calling for the withdrawal of new agricultural laws, which they say benefit private buyers at the expense of farmers.

The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the reforms are opening new opportunities for farmers.

India last week sent Twitter a notice of non-compliance, threatening its executives with prison terms and fines after the company failed to comply with another government order to block content that alleged the Modi administration was trying to stamp out protesting farmers.

The incident sparked criticism of the company from members of Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in one of Twitter's largest marketplaces by number of users.

A Twitter spokeswoman said: We strongly believe that the open and free exchange of information has a positive global impact, and that Tweets should continue to flow.


 

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