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Twitter challenges Indian govt’s orders to remove content, accuses officials of abusing power

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

New Delhi: The confrontation between the social media company Twitter and the central government may increase. Twitter has filed a petition in the Karnataka High Court. In this petition, the order of removal of material has been challenged under the new IT rules of the government. Twitter said that it is a case of abuse of its authority by the authorities. Twitter has challenged a government order issued in June 2022. The plea said that the order to ‘block’ the content is “extremely broad” and “arbitrary”.

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Sources associated with the Twitter writ petition said that several requests of the government are for action against alleged political content. These contents have been posted through official ‘handles’ of political parties. In such a situation, ‘blocking’ such information would be a violation of the freedom of expression, which the company has given to the people using the platform. “The content requested to be ‘blocked’ has nothing to do with section 69A,” the sources said.

In this case, the Indian government has also said earlier that big social media companies including Twitter have not acted on the request to remove the content. The Union IT Ministry told Twitter last month that if Twitter does not comply with certain orders of the government, then criminal action will be taken against it. News agency Reuters, citing sources, has revealed that Twitter has fully complied with the government’s orders this week for fear of action against itself.

Twitter’s tensions with the Indian government escalated early last year when Twitter refused to fully comply with orders to remove certain accounts and posts. The Government of India had ordered the removal of accounts and posts through which misinformation was being spread by farmers about anti-government protests.

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