After being asked by the government of India in a fresh order to take down 1,178 accounts, the US social media giant Twitter on Monday said it would continue to engage with the Centre from a position of respect, and has reached out to the Union IT Minister for a formal dialogue.
The Twitter spokesperson stated that safety of their employees is a top priority and it continues to be engaged with the Government of India from a position of respect. The company has asked for a meeting with Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
The social media platform also said that it has acknowledged getting the non-compliance notice from the government. The company reviews every report received from the government as expeditiously as possible. Taking appropriate action regarding such reports, it also ensures that its fundamental values and commitment to protecting the public conversation remain firm. An update is also being shared with the government through the established channels of communication.
The company strongly believes that the open and free exchange of information has a positive global impact, that the Tweets must continue to flow, said the spokesperson in a statement.
The Twitter’s response came a day after the government asked it to remove over a thousand more accounts for allegedly spreading misinformation and provocative content in connection with the farmers’ protest. The government had asked Twitter to take down 1,178 listed handles that reportedly have Pakistani and Khalistani users.
The government has warned the social media platform of penal action in case of failure to comply with its directive. However, Twitter is yet to completely comply with the order.
Earlier, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had sent a list of 257 handles and tweets to be blocked for similar reasons. At that point of time, Twitter had blocked the accounts for a few hours. However, it later unblocked those accounts shortly after citing the content is free speech and transparency which it reportedly said was fundamental to the company.
Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s recent liking several tweets made by foreign- based celebrities in support of the farmers protest has also not gone down well by the government. It feels that the act raises questions over the neutrality of the social media platform.