After blocking nearly 250 accounts in India, social media platform Twitter restored access to the suspended accounts late on Monday. According to media reports, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had directed Twitter to take down the accounts on January 30.
According to the reports, the Twitter accounts were using #ModiPlanningFarmerGenocide to promote provocative content. The Ministry of Home Affairs instructed MeitY to ban the accounts under Section 69 A of the Information Technology Act.
Ministry of Electronics and IT (MEITY) directed Twitter to block around 250 Tweets/Twitter accounts which were using 'Modi Planning Farmer Genocide' hashtag & making fake, intimidatory & provocative Tweets on Jan 30: Sources on Twitter Accounts being withheld pic.twitter.com/LIvZjbevRX— ANI (@ANI) February 1, 2021
Among the temporarily suspended Twitter accounts included the magazine, The Caravan, Twitter handle of deceased actor Sushant Singh Rajput, as well as the personal Twitter account of Shashi Shekhar Vempati, CEO of the public broadcaster Prasar Bharti, along with accounts linked to farmers protest including Kisan Ekta Morcha and Tractor2Twitr.
Our Official Twitter Account Withheld !!— Kisan Ekta Morcha (@Kisanektamorcha) February 1, 2021
Why is govt. suppressing the voice of farmers?
Does govt. fear farmers’ stern actions?
Follow Backup Account @kemorcha#SuppressBillsNotJournalists#बजटनहींबिल_वापसी pic.twitter.com/9cF92enapT
. #Tractor2Twitter account is now up and running.— Tractor2ਟਵਿੱਟਰ (@Tractor2twitr) February 1, 2021
Thank you every one who supported us and stood up against suppression of free speech. @dhruv_rathee @thewire_in @TheQuint @propunjabtv @ndtv @
We will continue to support our farmers.
Detailed email queries sent to Twitter’s India policy team by TechCirlce did not elicit a response till the time of publishing the article.
Twitter and other social media platforms are defined as internet intermediary under the Information Technology Act and have to abide by the Intermediaries Guidelines introduced by the government of India, including disabling content / information which violates law as well as providing assistance to authorised government agencies.