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Twitter temporarily blocked accounts for criticism of the Indian government

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On Monday, Twitter temporarily blocked Indians from viewing the magazines belonging to activists, political commentators, famous movie stars and major investigative news magazines. caravan, An order from the government of that country. All claims have one thing in common-they criticize India’s Hindu nationalist prime minister Narendra Modi (Narendra Modi). Twitter restored these accounts after more than six hours and told government officials that these tweets and accounts constitute freedom of speech and are newsworthy.

This move was carried out at the time of the suppression of Indian dissidents and raised questions about the role of American technology companies in India.In the past few weeks, Indian authorities Mention In response to a case of sedition by a famous journalist, it reported farmers’ protests against the Modi government.On the weekend, the police in New Delhi, the capital of India Arrested Two reporters, one of whom is still in detention.

Last week, called for “shooting” to protest farmers Hourly Trend On Twitter, thousands of tweets encouraging police brutality flooded the platform.

Some of the most famous accounts that Twitter temporarily blocked in the country, in addition to caravans, also include those who posted the latest news about farmers’ protests on Twitter.

The magazine’s executive editor Vinod K. Jose said: “The staff of the caravan believes that Twitter’s decision to refuse to keep our official account is the latest in a series of targeted attacks published on the publication, with the goal of being merciless. To track important stories.” A reporter who launched inflammatory charges against him last week told BuzzFeed News.

After the caravan returned to Twitter, It tweeted“Our account has been restored. It is clearer today than ever that real media needs real allies. We thank our readers, subscribers and contributors for their unwavering support.”

Twitter said in a statement: “Many countries have laws that apply to the content of Tweets and/or Twitter accounts. As we continue to work hard, if we receive Appropriate scope request from authorized entity, It may be necessary to prohibit access to certain content in certain countries from time to time. Transparency is critical to protecting freedom of speech, so we have a notification policy for concealed content. Upon receiving a request to retain content, we will immediately notify the affected account holder (unless we are prohibited from doing so, for example, if we receive a stamped court order).

According to Twitter, if Twitter receives “a valid and appropriate request from an authorized entity,” the Twitter will keep the tweets and accounts, including in the United States. website. These tweets or accounts are usually visible elsewhere in the world.The company stated that “unless we are banned, it will immediately notify the affected users” and said lumen, Is a project of Harvard University.

But people who have temporarily blocked their accounts in India say that Twitter notified them before taking action.

Political commentator Sanjukta Basu said: “They didn’t get in touch with me on my account,” Twitter rejected the account, he told BuzzFeed News.

Jose said that Twitter did not notify the magazine before blocking the account, and only received news from the company after blocking the account for an hour. He said: “Twitter did not disclose the source of the legal severance demand.”

BuzzFeed News learned that the legal order came from India’s IT Ministry, section The law allows the government to order the removal of content deemed a threat to national security and prevents companies such as Twitter from disclosing information about blocked accounts or tweets. The IT department declined to issue an official statement.

Twitter confirmed that these orders came from India’s IT department, but said it will not upload them to the Lumen database because these accounts have been unblocked.

The company found itself caught between local laws and global human rights standards.

“Internet platforms must ensure that any measures taken in response to government orders regarding content removal comply with international human rights law standards,” said Raman Jit Singh Chima, senior international consultant and Asia-Pacific policy director for the non-profit Internet advocacy organization Access Now, telling BuzzFeed news. “They should object to reports that are too high or are clearly trying to suppress media organizations.”

This may mean that, even temporarily, actions that other countries seem unimaginable have been taken, and this action has aroused sharp criticism.

“Can you imagine @twitter will pull the New Yorker or Atlantic account immediately after receiving a legal letter?” Tweet Nicholas Dawes is an executive editor in New York City and a former director of Human Rights Watch. “It may be difficult to apply human rights-based standards for content review on a global scale, but this is what they signed up for.”



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