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Twitter didn't block certain handles as it 'would violate right to free expression'

'Withheld some accounts within India to continue advocating right of free expression'

Twitter Who's Minding the Shop, Twitter Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey | AP

Twitter on Wednesday said it has withheld some of the accounts flagged by the Indian government for blocking "within India only", but has not blocked handles of civil society activists, politicians and media as "it would violate their fundamental right to free expression" guaranteed under country's law.

Twitter emphasised that it will continue to advocate for the right of free expression of its users and that it is “actively exploring options under Indian law — both for Twitter and for the accounts that have been impacted”.

The microblogging platform had been asked by the government to take down multiple accounts that were sharing misinformation and provocative content around the ongoing farmers' agitation. It had also been warned of penal action for non-compliance.

Seeking to clarify its stance, Twitter—in a blogpost—said it had taken steps to reduce visibility of the hashtags containing harmful content that included prohibiting them from trending on Twitter and appearing as recommended Search terms.

Twitter has also informed the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) of its enforcement action.

Twitter noted that it has taken a range of enforcement actions against more than 500 accounts escalated across all MeitY orders—including permanent suspension in certain cases for violation of Twitter rules. 


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