India Government asks Twitter to remove 1178 accounts

The Indian government has sent a list of another 1178 accounts to the social media company that it wants removed or blocked from Twitter. Sources say that these accounts are being run from Pakistan and that they were tweeting about the ongoing farmers’ protests. The latest list has been sent to Twitter on February 4.

Sources said that these accounts were flagged by security agencies as accounts of Khalistan sympathisers or backed by Pakistan and operating from foreign territories, causing threat to public order by tweeting on ongoing farmers protests. They said that many of these accounts were also automated bots that were used for sharing and amplifying misinformation and provocative contents on farmers protests. This is in addition to 257 handles the Centre earlier demanded should be blocked. While the latest notice was served Thursday, Twitter is yet to comply with the directions issued under Section 69A of the IT Act, sources said. The fresh demand has been made by the IT ministry after it received an advisory from MHA and security agencies, sources said.

The government is of the view that the activities conducted through the accounts that are sought to be blocked have the potential to “cause threat to public order in view of the ongoing farmers protests” in parts of the country. The fresh face-off comes at a time when the government has warned Twitter that its officials may land a jail term of up to seven years and the company slapped with a penalty over its refusal to comply with the orders.