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"Committed to freedom of expression": US amid Twitter row in India

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Committed to freedom of expression: US amid Twitter row in India
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Washington: The US reiterated its commitment to supporting democratic values which includes the fundamental freedom of expression citing Twitter's move in blocking nearly 500 accounts after receiving orders from the Indian government, NDTV reported.

"What I would say generally, is that around the world, we are committed to supporting democratic values including freedom of expression. I think when it comes to Twitter's policies we would have to refer you to Twitter itself," NDTV quoted Ned Price, US Department of State spokesperson when asked on his comments on the situation.

This comes after Twitter on Wednesday informed that it has taken multiple enforcement actions -- including permanent suspension of over 500 accounts for clear violations of Twitter's rules, in response to the "legal requests" made by the Indian government.

The micro-blogging site in a statement said, "Separate to our enforcement under the Twitter Rules, 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 (MeitY), Government of India, under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act."

"We took a range of enforcement actions -- including permanent suspension in certain cases -- against more than 500 accounts escalated across all Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology orders for clear violations of Twitter''s Rules," the statement reads.

The company informed that they took steps to reduce the visibility of the hashtags containing harmful content, which included prohibiting them from trending on Twitter.

This statement came amid the "Toolkit" controversy surrounding the ongoing farmers'' protest which was tweeted by Swedish environmental activist, Greta Thunberg.

The Central government on Monday had directed the microblogging site to ban 1,178 Pakistani-Khalistani accounts for spreading misinformation and provocative content on farmers' protest, sources said.

(with minor edits from NDTV)

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TAGS:Twitter Tool kit 
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