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Twitter: India's blockades violate freedom of expression

Twitter has criticized the Indian government for trying to block the online controversy, calling it a potential threat to freedom of expression.

Twitter India

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The social network also accused the government of "intimidation tactics" after police intervened at Twitter offices in the country.

The Twitter statement comes in response to a non-compliance notice issued against the social media platform in January, calling for the removal of specific content and accounts.

Following the January announcement, Twitter has not taken any action, as it believes that the blocks requested by the Indian government would lead to a violation of freedom of expression. According to Twitter, the announcement called for the blocking of the accounts of various media entities, journalists, activists and politicians.

New Delhi posted another warning on Twitter last week after the social network described a tweet by Sambit Patra, a spokesman for India's ruling BJP party, as a "means of manipulation".

In addition to these alerts, Twitter has received at least two more, with one alert focusing on images or posts dealing with the COVID tragedy in India, while the other tried to block people 's tweets about farmers' protests.

In announcing the COVID-related tweets, the Indian government has demanded that dozens of them be removed, as they criticized the government's response to the epidemic.

Twitter India

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The platform has largely complied with the Indian government due to new laws that allow it to arrest Twitter employees.

In February, various amendments were made to India's IT law. One of the changes gave the government the power to force platforms to block content. "in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the defense of India, the security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states or public order or to prevent the incitement of any known offense".

Failure to comply with these new laws may result in the arrest and imprisonment of company employees.

In a statement, Twitter also said it would push the Indian government to change the new laws by asking for a three-month extension to enforce the rules if they do not withdraw.

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Other major social platforms, such as WhatsApp, also expressed their frustration with the new laws, filing a lawsuit against the Indian government.

Until last year, the Indian government only censored print newspapers, television, movies and theater, but digital content was virtually out of the question.

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