Twitter has filed a case against the Indian government in an attempt to reverse the recently-issued orders for the removal of specific content from its platform. The microblogging website alleged the government’s takedown orders represent an abuse of power by officials, according to Reuters. Also Read - Twitter bans over 46,000 accounts for violating guidelines
Amid the takeover bid by Elon Musk — the world’s richest man, Twitter has pursued a judicial review of the Indian government’s orders for the removal of content, including tweets that were critical of the government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and accounts that promote sentiments around an independent Sikh-majority state. Also Read - Twitter may let you add videos, pictures in same tweet soon: All you need to know
Reuters has reported that the case filed in the Karnataka High Court claims that some of the orders issued by the government did not give notice to tweet authors, while some of the orders were made in reference to political content posted by official handles of political parties. Twitter said blocking the content would amount to a violation of freedom of speech — the stance for Musk’s bid to buy Twitter. Also Read - FIR filed against Twitter India again, now over child pornography content
The latest move to comply with the orders is one of the incidents where Twitter has been at loggerheads with the Indian government. Previously, the government ordered Twitter to block several accounts and some tweets from the international advocacy group Freedom House, journalists, politicians and supporters of the farmers’ protest. Twitter removed some content on June 26. It submitted a report comprising a list of over 80 Twitter accounts and tweets that it has blocked in response to the government’s request in 2021.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) issued a notice to Twitter to comply with all past orders by July 4, to which the microblogging platform responded accordingly. Twitter complied with the orders to avoid losing its intermediary status. As an intermediary, Twitter is safeguarded against any directives or cases for the content posted on its platform by its users. But without that status, Twitter would be held accountable for each post.