The Centre has issued notice to social media giant Twitter on Wednesday asking them to comply with the government’s order to remove contents/accounts relating to farmer genocide hashtags.
Reportedly, the Centre has warned that if they do not comply with the orders, then the government will take ‘penal action’ against Twitter. The development comes after Twitter unblocked nearly 250 accounts that were blocked on the Centre’s orders. Reports said that Twitter is obliged to obey directions of the government or face penal action for not complying the order.
Recently, the Union Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology had directed Twitter to block 250 accounts for spreading provocative tweets with hashtags alleging the BJP government of planning farmers ‘genocide’ with proof.
Twitter blocked the accounts including Kisan Ekta Morcha, former Lok Sabha MP and CPI(M) leader Mohammed Salim, activist Hansraj Meena, media organisation Caravan India and actor Sushant Singh. Ironically, Twitter restricted Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar's account, who encouraged Twitter to take action against users using the controversial hashtag.
According to Section 69(A) of IT Act, the government can block access to content that would pose a threat to public order. The accounts were "withheld" in response to a 'legal request,' says the message displayed by the site.
Many users slammed Twitter's decision to act as per the government's decision. Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, "After Facebook, the Modi government seems to have taken control of Twitter India. This backdoor attempt to block the voice of those, who speak for free speech and farmers' rights has unmasked the authoritarian soul of this fascist BJP regime." Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan also slammed Twitter's decision to "withhold" accounts.