In the backdrop of ongoing farmer protests in India, the Indian government reportedly ordered Twitter to ban accounts including news media, journalists, activists and politicians. The company did permanently suspended over 500 accounts but did not fully oblige with the order saying it “would violate their fundamental right to free expression under Indian law.”
As the situation escalated, on February 10, the Indian government's representative virtually met Twitter executive leaders to discuss the matter. Afterwards, Indian Ministry of Electronics & IT released a statement which mentioned its 'disappointment' with the company.
"Twitter, as a business entity working in India, must also respect the Indian laws and democratic institutions. Twitter is free to formulate its own rules and guidelines, like any other business entity does, but Indian laws which are enacted by the Parliament of India must be followed irrespective of Twitter’s own rules and guidelines," the statement read.
Indian citizens, especially pro-government supporters, have rallied online to get the social media banned in the country. Earlier, Kangana Ranaut, a prominent Indian actress slammed Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey calling him “a little slave of your own greeds.”
Besides that the Indian government officials are openly urging its citizens to sign up for Twitter-like platform, Koo.
Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Chief Minister (similar to a U.S. governor) of one of the Indian states, who has more than 7 million Twitter followers, also urged his supporters to follow him on Koo.
These actions have also fanned the rumor of a possible Twitter ban in India. TheStreet reached out to Twitter for comment. The company responded in an email saying, “we have nothing to share outside of our statement here."
It's worth reminding, last year India banned TikTok and other Chinese apps citing 'national security concerns.'
India has over 17 million Twitter users, which makes it the third largest market for the company. Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi, who is super active on Twitter, has over 65 million followers.
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