Twitter Calls on Indian Government to Respect Free Speech

NEW DELHI – Twitter on Thursday fought against India’s increasingly persistent efforts to speak online by the police, calling on the government there to respect freedom of expression and criticizing the so-called “intimidation” tactics used by the country’s police.

In a statement, the San Francisco-based social media service said it plans to persuade India’s leaders to change regulations that give authorities more leverage over online media and platforms.

“At the moment we are concerned about recent events regarding our workforce in India and the potential threat to freedom of expression for the people we serve,” the statement said.

Citing new information technology rules introduced by the government, she added: “We have concerns, along with many in civil society in India and around the world, about the police use of intimidation tactics in response to enforcement of our global regulations Service as well as with core elements of the new IT rules. “

The company also said it received a notice of non-compliance with Indian information technology laws in connection with requests to remove content posted by journalists, activists and politicians related to the government’s handling of the coronavirus. The notice also included contributions related to protests by farmers who were angry about the new agricultural laws passed last year.

Under Indian law, Twitter’s Indian executives could face up to seven years’ imprisonment and a fine for violating government orders to remove content it deems subversive or a threat to public order and national security. does not comply.

Government officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

The declaration follows a series of steps by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government and his Bharatiya Janata party to curb dissent in the 1.4 billion country. This campaign has reached a new edge as the government has come under increasing public criticism for dealing with India’s second wave of coronavirus, which saw infections and deaths soaring, and some hospitals losing beds, extra oxygen and other life-saving necessities went out.

Twitter’s statement came just days after officers from an elite anti-terrorist police force paid a nightly visit to the company’s offices in New Delhi with a note protesting the company’s way of doing one Had identified a number of high-ranking officials in the BJP

These officials had posted documents on Twitter showing opposition politicians planned to use the stumbling coronavirus response for political purposes. But Twitter labeled them “manipulated media” after they were accused of having forged the documents.

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