Twitter sues Indian government over content removal orders alleging abuse of power by the govt

Twitter has sued the Indian government to challenge some of its takedown orders, which sought the removal of certain content from the platform. According to Reuters, an official source close to the matter told that the social media platform has accused officials of abuse of power. Along with this, there has also been a demand to stop these orders.

Also read: Twitter interim grievance officer for India quits, amid row with Centre over new IT rules

Actually, this conflict is being seen between the US social media company and the Indian government, due to the new rules made regarding social media content. The Company has agreed to undertake a legal review of the decisions taken under this rule. Twitter was warned of criminal action by India’s IT Ministry for non-compliance of certain orders.

Twitter was asked by Indian authorities over the past year to take action on accounts supporting Khalistan and dozens of tweets related to government policies to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. Twitter followed these rules this week.

However, there has been no official statement from the IT Ministry of India on this legal move of Twitter.

The Indian government had earlier said that large social media companies, including Twitter, have not complied with requests to remove content and accounts, despite their legal status.

Sources said Twitter, in its request for judicial review, argued that some of the removal orders were short of the requirements of India’s IT Act. However, it did specify which people Twitter wanted to review.

Under the IT Act, the government can prevent any suspicious content from reaching the public for other reasons in the interest of national security. Twitter also argued in its complaint that some of the orders failed to give notice to the authors of the content.

Sources said that it has also been said that some of the orders were related to political content posted by the official handles of political parties. Blocking it is a violation of freedom of expression.

Tensions with the Indian government escalated early last year when Twitter refused to fully comply with orders to remove several accounts and posts. They were accused by New Delhi of spreading false information about anti-government protests by farmers.

The company is also facing police investigation in India. Last year, several Indian government ministers took to Twitter to allege non-compliance with local laws. Also they moved to the Indian platform Koo.

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