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Twitter blocks over 80 posts, accounts following Centre's orders

Twitter blocks over 80 posts, accounts following Centres orders

New Delhi: Social media company Twitter has blocked access to over 80 links on its website, mostly specific posts but also a large number of accounts, heeding legal notices by the government through 2021.

According to a document filed with the Lumen database by the platform on June 26, the requests from the government were sent between January 5, 2021, and December 29, 2021.

Leading internet companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter file information with Lumen database about web links or accounts that they have been asked to block by any entity under applicable laws

Reportedly, the social network was asked by the government to block tweets of the international advocacy group Freedom House which conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom, and human rights including freedom of speech and expression on the internet across the world.

Among the content that was asked to block also includes a report by a prominent American non-profit that said internet freedom in India was in decline.

However, details about whether the request to block a link or account was fulfilled are not available on the database.

An e-mail query sent by Press Trust of India to the Ministry of Electronics and IT did not elicit any reply.

The document showed that the government requested to block tweets belonging to members of Indian National Congress and Aam Aadmi Party, including MLA Jarnail Singh.

The government had also requested Twitter to block the account of Kisan Ekta Morcha, reported Press Trust of India.

A random check showed that most of the tweets and Twitter accounts that were requested to be blocked were accessible to users.

In a statement released on Monday, the umbrella body of farmers' unions, Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), raised strong objections to the requests made by the government for blocking tweets of those who stood in its support.

"Samyukta Kisan Morcha strongly opposes and condemns the withholding Twitter accounts allied with the farm movement on the instructions of the Union Government. Twitter has withheld about a dozen Twitter accounts in India, including the Twitter handle @kisanektamorcha allied with the Farm Movement, without any warning," SKM said.

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