March 28, 2023

Great Indian Mutiny

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Twitter went to court against the Indian government’s order to block the content

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New Delhi (AFP) – Social network Twitter has gone to court against an Indian government order to block content on its site, local media reported on Wednesday, based on court documents.

The case — which is being heard in a Bangalore court — is the latest in a series of battles between Twitter and Indian authorities, accused of cracking down on critics online and in any public sphere.

Twitter argued that the quarantine was “too long and arbitrary” to block multiple accounts and content, saying it was “disproportionate,” The Indian Express newspaper reported.

According to sources cited by the court, the social media giant said Indian authorities had failed to prove that some of the content it wanted to remove violated the rules.

Last week, Twitter condemned India’s order to censor dozens of accounts and messages, calling the order a setback to freedom of expression.

In recent years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government has sought to tighten control of debate on social media in India, which has about 20 million users on Twitter.

Twitter was ordered to delete dozens of accounts supporting the protests last year, amid massive anti-government demonstrations by farmers.

But the US company reinstated these blocked users shortly after, prompting government outrage.

According to the Indian government, Twitter is deliberately ignoring its new rules governing the internet, which critics say are designed to silence dissent and came into effect in May 2021.