Twitter contacts IT ministry after government urges twitter authorities to remove fake accounts

According to recent reports, Twitter has reached the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on Tuesday to discuss the government's demand regarding the removal of more than 1000 Pakistani-Khalistani accounts spreading anti-India fake news.

By Harkirpal Singh, Updated : Feb 09, 2021 18:24 IST
Twitter contacts IT ministry after government urges twitter authorities to remove fake accounts
IT Minister of India Ravi Shankar Prasad

According to recent reports, American social media company Twitter Inc has approached the Union IT Ministry for formal dialogue. The government had sent a list of some Twitter handles to Twitter and asked them to remove it, saying that they were involved in activities that spread inflammatory and misleading content on Twitter regarding farmers' protest.

In response to this, Twitter has said that it has approached the government for talks and 'for that the safety of its employees is at the top'. This reaction of Twitter has come when the government has asked to remove 1178 accounts from Twitter.

The Twitter spokesperson issued a statement saying that 'safety of our employees is a big priority for us. We remain in touch with the Government of India with all due respect and have approached the esteemed minister of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology for formal interaction.

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The company also said that it has also accepted the non-compliance notice from the government. Official sources had said that the government had given the names of 1,178 handles to Twitter and asked to remove them. The government described them as Pakistan-backed and Khalistan supporters. Sources had said that Twitter had not yet followed this order.

In the latest statement of the company, the spokesperson said, "We firmly believe that free exchange of information has a positive impact globally, and the tweet should continue to flow." The company said that it takes appropriate steps on such reports, as well as ensuring that its 'commitment to the safety of public communication and fundamental principles remain.'

In January, the IT Ministry sent a list of 257 handles and tweets to Twitter. The same reason was given to block them. Twitter first blocked these accounts, but after a few hours, they were unblocked.

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Then on 4 February, the ministry sent a list of 1,178 such handles. The security agencies had identified them as accounts of Pakistan-supported and Khalistan supporters operating from abroad, who were allegedly trying to spread social and legal chaos among the peasant movement in the country. The government also said that many of these accounts were automated bots that were spreading misleading and inflammatory material related to the movement rapidly.

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