The battle between Twitter and the Indian government over the blocking of several accounts has reached a serious level now.
According to Variety, Twitter recently denied the Indian government’s order to block some accounts on its social media platform. The conflict over freedom of speech has now escalated to a new level between the two.
A few days ago, the social media portal denied the government’s order of shutting down some of the unblocked accounts.
Freedom of Speech: Twitter vs. Government of India
The main reason for the circumstance is the protest movement of Indian farmers. They were protesting for more than two months now because of the newly proposed farm laws last year.
Many Indian activists, opposition leaders, and journalists spoke against the government on social media. They showed their support to the farmers while criticizing the lawmakers. However, the situation turned controversial when they used a hashtag. As per the Indian government, they were spreading misinformation and tension in the society.
The government then asked Twitter to block more than 250 accounts, comprising those posted against the new farm laws and authorities. The social media company accepted it and shut them down. However, after a while, it unblocked many of them.
In its defense, the company said that it did comply with the government’s request. And all the profiles associated with posting content related to violence, abuse, and harming principles were blocked. But there were no actions regarding accounts that consist of news media entities, journalists, activists, and politicians.
In its recent post, Twitter said:
“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.”
Officials from the Indian government then responded with their reason against the company’s principles. Ravi Shankar Prasad said that if social media were to be used to spread fake news and violence, there would be action to be taken regarding its misuse in India, whether Twitter or somebody else.
A threat for other social media services in the country
Meanwhile, the increasing tension between the company and the government may not be a good sign for the rest of India’s social media apps. Because if Twitter keeps denying the order of blocking the accounts, then the authorities might force other apps to close as well. Another reason is that most of the popular social media platforms in India are international, not domestic.
However, in light of this current scenario, Koo’s homegrown rival app is gradually emerging. Many Indian celebrities, including government officials, are constantly promoting it. However, it’s not mainstream yet.
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