X removes accounts media claims are connected to protests by Indian farmers

by | Feb 22, 2024

Although it disagrees with the decision, social media platform X stated on Thursday that it removed specific accounts and posts in accordance with an Indian government order. According to local media reports, the accounts and posts are connected to ongoing farmer protests calling for higher crop prices
X said it disagreed with the action and that it would restrict freedom of expression without disclosing the specifics of the removals.

The action brings attention back to the difficulties faced by the foreign technology tycoons in India operating under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government. The government has frequently criticized Google, Facebook, and Twitter for failing to combat what it refers to as “fake “or “anti-India” content.

According to X, its stance on the issue is consistent with its ongoing legal action against content-blocking orders issued by the Indian government.

“We will withhold these accounts and posts in India alone; however, we disagree with these actions and maintain that freedom of expression should extend to these posts,” X's Global Gov’t Affairs said in a post, while not naming the accounts.

The statement was made following a week of demonstrations by thousands of Indian farmers who camped 200 km (125 miles) north of Delhi due to police blocking their route to the capital and firing tear gas at advancing crowds.

According to the national Hindustan Times, some farmers organizations and supporters accounts are covered by the government's “emergency” blocking orders from last week.

Requests for comment were not immediately addressed by the ministries of interior affairs and information technology.

The action, according to lawmaker Jairam Ramesh of India's main opposition Congress party, “represented the murder of democracy in India,” he wrote in a post on X.

Although X cannot publish the government orders due to legal restrictions imposed by Global Government Affairs, it still wants to be transparent. This lack of disclosure can result in arbitrary decision-making and a loss of accountability.

Source: Reuters

 

 

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