Asked by govt to block 1,178 accounts, Twitter says tweets must continue to flow
Twitter, which has been asked by the government of India in a fresh order to take down 1,178 accounts that may “foment trouble”, said on Monday that it engaging with the Centre from a position of respect.
In a statement to HT, the company also said that "safety of our employees is a top priority for us at Twitter".
A spokesperson of Twitter said that the company has asked for a meeting with Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. "We have reached out to the honourable minister for a formal dialogue. An acknowledgement to the receipt of the non-compliance notice has also been formally communicated," the spokesperson said.
"We review every report we receive from the government as expeditiously as possible, and take appropriate action regarding such reports while making sure we hold firm to our fundamental values and commitment to protecting the public conversation. An update is shared through our established channels of communication with the government," the spokesperson further said in the statement.
"We strongly believe that the open and free exchange of information has a positive global impact, and that the tweets must continue to flow," the statement further said.
The directions have been issued under the Section 69 (A) of the information technology act that allows the government to take action against posts and accounts that may pose a threat to public order.
The government's fresh order came days after the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had asked the social media platform to block 257 accounts which were tweeting about farm laws which can impact public order. The government had called these tweets "misinformation".
It has also warned Twitter of penal action in case of failure to comply with its directive. Twitter had blocked those accounts for few hours before unilaterally unblocking them.
The lifting of the local ban came in the backdrop of widespread outrage against Twitter for censoring free speech.
The IT ministry had also expressed its displeasure over Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently liking several tweets made by foreign-based celebrities in support of farmer protest.