Twitter is making a challenging note in Fight with India on domestic account restrictions. On Monday, the company gave its first official response since the Indian government asked it to lock down more than 250 accounts it had reinstated despite an order from the IT ministry. Among the accounts blocked were Caravan, a news magazine, and those who criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“We strongly believe that free and open communication has a positive global impact and that Tweets must continue to flow,” the company said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. the company said in a statement shared with BuzzFeed News.
Twitter’s statement comes in the face of India’s increasingly authoritarian government as millions of farmers oppose agricultural reforms, rocking the country.
In Monday, Indian press reports says the government has asked the company to block nearly 1,200 additional accounts it considers tweeting about the protests, and is run from Pakistan. A report The Times of India also quoted an unnamed government official as saying that India was annoyed with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for having liked the tweets supporting the protests. A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment.
On January 31st, India’s IT Ministry requested Twitter To prevent More than 250 accounts belong to activists, political commentators and Caravan from within the country. Twitter initially complied but changed its route six hours later. In response, the Indian government command The site to block the accounts again and threaten Twitter officials in India suffer legal consequences for violating the order, including fines and up to seven years in prison.
But a week later, the accounts still exist, leaving the company’s employees in India at risk of government retaliation.
“Employee safety is our top priority at Twitter,” said the company statement. “We continue to engage with the Government of India from a position of respect and have contacted the Minister of Honor, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology for a formal dialogue.”
Twitter’s actions make it the focus of a free speech debate in a country that is undergoing a crackdown on dissent amid the protests of millions of farmers. agricultural reforms, which they think will affect their income. For Twitter, blocking accounts again means triggering the crackdown, but without limiting them the risk of legal consequences.
“We review every report we receive from the government as quickly as possible and take appropriate action in relation to them while making sure we uphold our corporate values,” said Twitter. copy and commit to public chat protection. “Updates are shared through our established communication channels with the Government.”
Despite polite language, some people, including before Twitter employees saw a double meaning in the statement. During the 2011 Arab Spring, the company co-founder Biz Stone and former general counsel Alexander Macgillivray wrote a post clarifying the company’s views on freedom of speech. It has titled: “Tweet must flow.”