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Twitter may face arrest over non-compliance on the farmer protests: Reports

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Problems seem to have rife for Twitter, as the micro blogging website was found not in compliance with governments’ order of suspending hundreds of user accounts in connection to the Republic Day tractor rally violence but instead decided to put a hold on the censuring of the user accounts. According to reports, top Twitter executives may now face arrest as the micro-blogging website.

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The tension between the government and US-based platform intensified on Wednesday as the government expressed “strong displeasure” on Twitter’s action regarding the alleged spread of “inflammatory content” and misinformation on the farmer protests.

“Lawfully passed orders are binding on any business entity. They must be obeyed immediately. If they are executed days later, it becomes meaningless,” the IT ministry asserted, adding the Twitter “must respect” Indian laws “irrespective of Twitter’s own rules and guidelines”.

Meanwhile, Twitter on Wednesday released a second statement, noting that it took down nearly half the accounts the government had sought to be blocked and took action against any other tweet that appeared provocative or misleading. The central government had directed the social media giant to block 1,178 accounts with links to Pakistan and ‘Khalistan’ supporters that were spreading “misinformation” on farmers’ protest.

“Secretary reminded Twitter about the action taken by Twitter during the Capitol Hill episode in the USA and compared that with the disturbance in Red Fort in India and its aftermath. He expressed dissatisfaction over Twitter’s differential treatment in the two incidents,” the IT Ministry said in a statement.

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“Twitter, as a business entity working in India, must also respect the Indian laws and democratic institutions. Twitter is free to formulate its own rules and guidelines as any other business entity does, but Indian laws which are enacted by the Parliament of India must be followed irrespective of Twitter’s own rules and guidelines,” the statement asserted. Another government source added that if Twitter fails to follow the orders, it may have to face “legal recourse”.

Twitter executives, however, expressed their commitment towards building their services in India and will to comply to governments orders while safeguarding freedom of speech. The team has reportedly also requested for better engagement between the Indian government and the company’s global team.

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