Twitter sues Indian government over content removal orders

Twitter has sued the Indian government alleging that New Delhi abuses its power by ordering it to remove content from the platform ‘arbitrarily’ and ‘disproportionately’. 

The social media giant said that some of the governmental orders also ”pertain to political content that is posted by official handles of political parties”.  

Blocking of such information is a violation of the freedom of speech guaranteed to citizen-users of the platform. Further, the content at issue does not have any apparent proximate relationship to the grounds under Section 69A,” the company said in the lawsuit filed in the Karnataka High Court in Bengaluru this Tuesday.

Last year, India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology introduced new IT rules requiring major social media companies like Twitter and Facebook to appoint a chief compliance officer in the country.

In its lawsuit, Twitter said that the Indian government threatened to prosecute its chief compliance officer if it didn’t comply with its demands. 

Speaking about the new lawsuit, India’s IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said: “It is everyone’s responsibility to abide by the laws passed by the country’s Parliament.”

Twitter has also faced challenges for removing political and influential accounts in India where it is estimated to have 48 monthly active users, according to Sensor Tower. (via TechCrunch)

Also Read: Twitter Revenue and Usage Statistics (2022)

In May last year, the Delhi police visited the company’s offices in Delhi and Gurgaon after the social media giant labeled a tweet of a spokesperson of the country’s ruling party BJP as “manipulated media.” At that time, the company named the incident as ‘’intimidation’’.  

Meanwhile, most of the government ministers stopped using Twitter and switched to a local platform named Koo, saying that Twitter doesn’t comply with the country’s laws. 

Last year, WhatsApp also sued the Indian government over its internet regulations which could give it access to encrypted messages. 

Written by Maya Robertson


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