If you are active on Twitter, this is going to surprise you. Head over to the trending section on the microblogging site and you will be able to see #BanTwitter trending. Such irony. Right? Users are tweeting about banning Twitter on Twitter. But why?
This comes after the battle between the microblogging site and the Indian government on pulling down or suspending some accounts, hashtags, among others related to farmers’ protest. While Twitter finally — after a long negotiation — banned more than 500 accounts, the platform headed by Jack Dorsey did clarify in an official blog post that no accounts belonging to any news media entities, journalists, activists, or politicians have been taken down.
In an official blog post, Twitter stated, “To do so, we believe, would violate their fundamental right to free expression under Indian law. We informed MeitY [Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology] of our enforcement actions today.” These accounts have been suspended as they tweeted in support of farmers’ protest.
The microblogging site also stated that the suspended Twitter handles are only blocked within the country and are visible outside of the country. This is because Twitter believes orders by the Indian government are inconsistent with local law.
The blog post further highlighted, “over the course of the last 10 days, Twitter has been served with several separate blocking orders by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act.” It added, “out of these, two were emergency blocking orders that we temporarily complied with but subsequently restored access to the content in a manner that we believe was consistent with Indian law. After we communicated this to MeitY, we were served with a non-compliance notice.”
Centre calls Twitter’s blog post “unusual” as it was released at the time when the platform was considering connecting with the Indian government officials. Meity took to the homegrown app Koo and stated, “Upon the request of Twitter seeking a meeting with the Govt., the Secretary IT was to engage with senior management of Twitter. In this light a blog post published prior to this engagement is unusual. Govt. will share its response soon.”
Koo app has gained wide popularity in the country as ban Twitter trends on Twitter.