New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Micro-blogging site, Twitter on Tuesday responded to the government's notice seeking removal of over 1,000 accounts linked to Pakistan and Khalistan spreading misinformation on ongoing farmers' protest. Twitter in its response said that the company has reached out to Union Minister of Information and Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, for a formal dialogue, adding that the 'safety of its employees is a top priority for the company'.

"Safety of our employees is a top priority for us at Twitter. We continue to be engaged with the Government of India from a position of respect and have reached out to the Honourable Minister, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology for a formal dialogue", Twitter said in its statement.

Twitter for the first time said it had formally acknowledged receipt of the government's non-compliance notice, adding that it reviews all government reports promptly and takes action while ensuring it upholds free speech.

"We strongly believe that the open and free exchange of information has a positive global impact, and that the Tweets must continue to flow. We review every report we receive from the government as expeditiously as possible, and take appropriate action regarding such reports while making sure we hold firm to our fundamental values and commitment to protecting the public conversation,” the company said.

Twitter's response came within 24-hours of government's directive to remove 1,178 Pakistani-Khalistani accounts spreading misinformation and provocative content on farmers agitation. The IT Ministry, on February 4, shared a list of these Twitter accounts that were flagged by security agencies as accounts of Khalistan sympathisers or backed by Pakistan and operating from foreign territories, and causing threat to public order amid the ongoing farmer stir.

Many of these accounts were also automated bots that were used for sharing and amplifying misinformation and provocative content on farmers' protests, sources said adding that Twitter has not yet complied with the latest order.

Earlier, the government had ordered Twitter to take down handles and hashtags that suggested a farmer genocide was being planned, saying such misinformation and inflammatory content will incite passion, and impact public order. It has also warned Twitter of penal action in case of failure to comply with its directive. Twitter had blocked those accounts for few hours before unilaterally unblocking them.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan