Musk’s X fears increased censorship by Centre, appeals in K’tka HC for more claritytext_fields
New Delhi: Social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, is embroiled in a legal battle with the Indian government over content removal orders. In July 2022, X sought to challenge the government's directives to remove certain content from its platform but was met with a court ruling against its appeal in June 2023, coupled with a fine of 5 million rupees ($60,560).
Now, X has filed an appeal at the Karnataka High Court, claiming that upholding the ruling could lead to increased censorship by the government. The platform argues that without clear guidelines on when an entire account can be blocked rather than just specific posts, the government's power to censor content becomes unlimited.
Elon Musk, who now owns, has been actively exploring various business ventures in India, including the establishment of an electric vehicle factory and market entry for his satellite broadband company, SpaceX.
X's troubles with the Indian government date back to previous instances where authorities asked the platform to act on content deemed supportive of an independent Sikh state, posts spreading misinformation about farmer protests, and tweets critical of the government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The specific content at the centre of the dispute includes a video ordered to be taken down by the Indian government under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act. Additionally, posts by prominent figures such as Asaduddin Owaisi, president of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), and independent journalist Rana Ayyub were also removed from the platform.
Furthermore, the government censored footage of a viral video depicting the sexual harassment of two women in Manipur, removing related posts from various platforms including X.