The Central Government has directed Twitter to comply with its order to remove content/accounts related to farmer genocide hashtags, and warned that the platform may face penal action if it doesn’t comply.
The Government said Twitter unilaterally unblocked accounts and tweets linked to an objectionable hashtag related to the farmers’ protest despite its order, reports said. Twitter, being an intermediary, is obliged to obey the direction of the government, officials said, adding the platform may face penal action if not complying.
In connection with the ongoing farmers’ protest on Monday, over 250 accounts were blocked for tweeting, or retweeting, with the farmer genocide hashtag, and making fake, intimidatory and provocative tweets .
The government has insisted that the use of the offensive hashtag is part of motivated campaign to abuse, inflame and create tension in society on unsubstantiated grounds. The Ministry of Electronics and IT officials asserted Twitter cannot assume the role of the court and justify non-compliance. The Ministry had recently directed Twitter to block around 250 tweets/Twitter accounts for “fake, intimidatory and provocative tweets” on January 30 with hashtags accusing the Modi government of planning farmers genocide without any further substantiation.
As per an official statement, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on Sunday had sought the emergency blocking of 257 URLs and 1 Hashtag under section 69 A of the Information Technology Act.