Govt Orders X to Withhold Certain Accounts, Posts in India

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Three points you will get to know in this article:

  • X will withhold specific content in India following Indian government orders.
  • Freedom of expression and transparency are important to the company.
  • In the past, Twitter and the Indian government clashed over content censorship, including during farmer protests.
Govt Orders X to withhold accounts

Introduction to X

X, once affectionately known as Twitter, stands tall as a popular social media hub headquartered in the United States. Boasting a staggering 500 million users worldwide, it easily ranks among the globe’s top social networks. Here, folks can freely share text snippets, captivating images, and engaging videos. But X isn’t just about posts; it’s a bustling community offering a plethora of features like direct messaging, video chats, and even audio calls. Plus, there are nifty tools like bookmarks, lists, and vibrant communities to explore. And let’s not forget about Spaces – a cool feature where users can engage in lively audio discussions. One neat aspect is the ability to vote on content through Community Notes, adding an interactive twist to the platform. While it may sport a new name, X still retains its iconic domain ‘’ alongside ‘’ as of February 2024, keeping its legacy intact.

Twitter's Compliance with Indian Government Directives

On Thursday, X, once known as Twitter, unveiled its decision to withhold certain accounts and posts in India in compliance with directives from the Indian government.

According to a statement by Global Government Affairs, a wing of X, the Indian government has issued executive orders mandating X to address specific accounts and posts, under threat of severe penalties such as hefty fines and imprisonment.

Advocacy for Freedom of Expression and Transparency

While X acknowledges the necessity to block these accounts and posts within India, it maintains a stance in favor of freedom of expression, advocating that this principle should encompass the content in question. Furthermore, X has ensured that affected users are duly informed about the company’s actions taken in response to these directives.

Unfortunately, we’re unable to share the executive orders due to legal constraints. However, we strongly believe in the importance of transparency, and making these orders public is crucial. Without this transparency, there’s a risk of accountability being compromised and decisions being made arbitrarily,” the statement emphasized.

Legal Challenges and Musk's Prior Statements

The statement also mentioned that there’s an ongoing writ appeal challenging the Indian government’s blocking order. It’s worth noting that previously, the Karnataka High Court had dismissed X’s plea contesting the government’s orders to block accounts and posts.

Interestingly, this marks a rare disagreement between X and the Indian government since Elon Musk assumed control of the micro-blogging platform. Last year, Musk had hinted at a more collaborative approach with local authorities, particularly in India.

In an interview with BBC, Musk emphasized the stringent regulations governing social media content in India, stressing the necessity to adhere to the country’s laws. He expressed a clear commitment to compliance, highlighting the gravity of the situation by stating that the alternative could lead to legal repercussions for individuals involved.

Twitter-Indian Government Disagreements and Regulatory Tensions

Prior to Musk’s remarks, Twitter and the Indian government clashed on numerous occasions over content censorship. There were instances where Twitter resisted government orders to block specific accounts and posts, culminating in a highly publicized dispute during the farmer protests.

Tensions escalated to the point where police conducted raids on Twitter India’s offices in Delhi and Gurgaon, following the platform’s decision to flag a tweet by a BJP leader as “manipulated media.” These events underscore the ongoing struggle between social media platforms and regulatory authorities in India.

Allegations of Government Pressure and Farmer Protests

Jack Dorsey made a statement alleging that India had issued threats to close down Twitter unless the company complied with government demands.

According to Dorsey, the threats took various forms, such as the explicit warning, “We will shut Twitter down in India,” a significant market for the platform. Additionally, there were ominous actions like raids on the homes of Twitter employees, all within the framework of a democratic nation like India, as emphasized by Dorsey.

However, amidst these revelations, X’s recent disclosure regarding government requests to censor specific posts and accounts coincides with the resurgence of farmer protests in certain regions of the country. As of now, the government has yet to respond to X’s disclosures.

X complies with Indian government orders by withholding certain accounts and posts, citing the threat of penalties. Despite acknowledging the need for compliance, X advocates for freedom of expression and emphasizes the importance of transparency, including making government orders public. Elon Musk’s leadership highlights a rare disagreement between X and the Indian government, contrasting his earlier collaborative approach. Previous clashes over content censorship, including during farmer protests, resulted in police raids on Twitter India’s offices. Jack Dorsey’s statement alleges threats to shut down Twitter in India. X’s recent disclosure coincides with resurgence of farmer protests, awaiting government response.

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