Centre directs Twitter to suspend over 250 accounts

The official Twitter accounts of The Caravan magazine, the CEO of Prasar Bharti, as well that of the Kisan Ekta Morcha, the farmers’ body that has been organising the protests against the farm laws in Delhi, were among the many Twitter accounts that were withheld in India on Monday.

The other Twitter accounts withheld included those of CPI(M)’s Puducherry wing, writer, blogger and socio-political activist Hansraj Meena, CPI leader Mohammad Salim, actor Sushant Singh, activist Sanjukta Basu, among others. When accessed, the Twitter profiles merely state that the “account has been withheld in India in response to a legal demand.” Twitter has issued a statement, saying this action is usually taken following a “properly scoped request from an authorised entity.” “Many countries have laws that may apply to Tweets and/or Twitter account content. In our continuing effort to make our services available to people everywhere, if we receive a properly scoped request from an authorised entity, it may be necessary to withhold access to certain content in a particular country from time to time. Transparency is vital to protecting freedom of expression, so we have a notice policy for withheld content. Upon receipt of requests to withhold content, we will promptly notify the affected account holders (unless we are prohibited from doing so e.g. if we receive a court order under seal). More information can be found here,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement.