Twitter Removes Accounts in India Under Pressure from Narendra Modi

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Digital rights teams say that the federal government’s strain on Twitter quantities to censorship.

“The power used for banning smartphone apps is the same power that is being used to direct Twitter to take down accounts and order internet shutdowns,” stated Apar Gupta, the chief director of Internet Freedom Foundation.

India represents a doubtlessly large development market for world web firms, with its 1.3 billion individuals, broadening web entry and an aspirational center class. The authorities’s stronger hand in the business complicates the prospects.

The nation ranks No. 5 in phrases of requests for Twitter to take away content material, in line with a company transparency report, after Japan, Russia, South Korea and Turkey. The nation despatched almost 5,500 authorized calls for, together with courtroom orders, to dam content material. It additionally despatched round 5,900 requests for accessing the personal info of customers between January 2012 and June 2020.

That involvement got here to the fore final year, when a outstanding public curiosity lawyer, Prashant Bhushan, wrote tweets criticizing the Indian Supreme Court’s position in eroding freedoms in the nation. Twitter eliminated the tweets in question. Lawyers and digital rights advocates stated on the time that the company set a harmful authorized customary. Twitter declined to touch upon Wednesday, and stated that it had eliminated Mr. Bhushan’s tweets in accordance with authorized directives.

India’s protesting farmers have opened a brand new entrance in the federal government’s efforts to tame social media.

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