Twitter blocks several accounts over Kashmir content
New Delhi, Sep 05 (Only Kashmir): The Information Technology ministry has sent a letter to Twitter, asking the company to block over 100 accounts and tweets that have been found “propagating objectionable content” under Section 69A of the IT Act. Twitter has put both the letter and the list of Twitter content to be blocked online. A number of Pakistani users have also received similar warnings from Twitter.
Twitter has received a complaint from the Modi government, asking it block over 100 accounts and tweets that have been found “propagating objectionable content”. Most of the content and accounts appear to involve Kashmir and Kashmiri issues.
It’s unclear on how many accounts or tweets Twitter has officially blocked. Many of the tweets linked in the official complaint from the ministry of electronics and information technology are still accessible while others lead to suspended accounts.
A few of the handles appear to be linked to terrorist organisations like the Jamaat ud Dawa – a front of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed – but many are of journalists, human rights activists and seemingly unaffiliated individuals.
On August 24, 2017, the IT ministry sent a letter to Twitter, asking the company to block the content under Section 69A of the IT Act.
“Based on recommendations of the committee and looking at the sensitivity of the request, it is hereby directed to Twitter to block/remove 115 Twitter handles/tweets in the interest of public order as well as for preventing any kind of cognizable offense…,” the letter states.
Twitter has put both the letter and the list of Twitter content to be blocked online. A number of Pakistani users have also received similar warnings from Twitter.
The email sent out by the social media company states that “The correspondence [from the Modi government] claims that your account is in violation of Indian law. Please note we may be obligated to take action regarding the content identified in the complaint in the future. Please let us know by replying to this email as soon as possible if you decide to voluntarily remove the content identified on your account.”
Twitter also seems to acknowledge the haziness of knowing which Twitter accounts are “Indian or Pakistani”. For instance, a tweet that allegedly “pays tribute” to a dead militant shows up with a warning sign that says “this tweet… has been withheld in India”
Last year, Facebook ran into controversy over censoring Indian journalists, activists and film-makers over similar “objectionable” Kashmir content.