NEW DELHI – Twitter on Thursday fought against India’s increasingly persistent online police speech efforts, calling on the local government to respect freedom of expression and criticizing the country’s police’s so-called “intimidation” tactics.
In a statement, the San Francisco-based social media service said it plans to persuade India’s leaders to change regulations that give authorities more leverage over online media and platforms.
“At the moment we are concerned about recent events regarding our workforce in India and the potential threats to freedom of expression for the people we serve,” the statement said.
Citing new information technology rules introduced by the government, she added: “We have concerns, along with many in civil society in India and around the world, about the police’s use of intimidation tactics in response to enforcement of our global regulations Service as well as with core elements of the new IT rules. “
The company also said it had received a notice of non-compliance with Indian information technology laws in connection with requests to remove content posted by journalists, activists and politicians related to the government’s handling of the coronavirus. The notice also included contributions related to protests by farmers who were angry about the new agricultural laws passed last year.
Under Indian law, Twitter’s Indian executives could face up to seven years’ imprisonment and a fine for violating government orders to remove content it deems subversive or a threat to public order and national security. does not comply.
Government officials could not be reached immediately for comment.
The declaration follows a series of steps by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government and his Bharatiya Janata party to curb dissent in the 1.4 billion country. This campaign has taken a new edge as the government has come under increasing public criticism for handling India’s second wave of coronavirus, which saw infections and deaths soaring and leaving some hospitals with beds, extra oxygen and other life-saving necessities went out.
Twitter’s statement came just days after officials from an elite counter-terrorism police force made an evening visit at the company’s New Delhi offices with a notice protesting the manner in which the company had marked a number of high-ranking posts with the BJP
These officials had posted documents on Twitter showing opposition politicians planned to use the stumbling coronavirus response for political purposes. But Twitter labeled them “manipulated media” after they were accused of having forged the documents.