Govt warns Twitter of consequences over non-compliance of order to remove accounts supporting farmers' protest
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The government on Wednesday sent a notice to Twitter after the micro-blogging site reinstated several accounts and hashtags on Monday supporting the ongoing farmers' protest in the country despite a directive from the Information and Technology (IT) Ministry to block these accounts. The government also warned the Twitter of serious consequences over 'non-compliance of directions issued under section 69A of the Act'.
Twitter has restored several accounts it had “withheld” on Monday after the government had asked it to take action against 250 handles which had posted “false and provocative content” related to the ongoing farmers' agitation.
These withheld accounts included those of Kisan Ekta Morcha and BKU Ekta Urgahan that have thousands of followers and have been actively involved in the ongoing protests, which have now resumed online activities.
The government, warning Twitter of facing penal action, said that the micro-blogging site is an intermediary and is obliged to obey the directives of the government.
"Twitter unilaterally unblocked accounts/tweets despite govt order for blocking. Twitter is an intermediary and they are obliged to obey the direction of govt. Refusal to do so will invite penal action", the government said.
According to the government, as reported by news agency ANI, 'content with the 'ModiPlanningFarmerGenocide' hashtag was posted on Twitter which was designed to inflame passions and hatred and is factually incorrect'. The government termed it a 'motivated campaign to abuse, inflame and create tension in society on unsubstantiated grounds'.
"Incitement to genocide is not freedom of speech, it is a threat to law and order. The Government notice quotes more than half a dozen Supreme Court judgments including Constitutional benches as to what is public order and what are the rights of authorities," the sources said.
"Twitter cannot sit as an appellate authority over the satisfaction of the authorities about its potential impact on derailing public order. It is only an intermediary", the government said.
The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) had recently directed Twitter to block around 250 tweets/Twitter accounts that were making 'fake, intimidatory and provocative tweets' on January 30 with hashtags accusing the Modi government of planning farmers 'genocide' without any further substantiation.
Posted By: Talibuddin Khan