Block 1,178 Handles, Says India. Defending Free Speech, Twitter Responds

Farmers Protest: Over 1,300 Twitter handles have fallen below the govenrment’s radar.

New Delhi:

The Indian authorities has requested microblogging platform Twitter to take away over a thousand extra accounts for allegedly spreading misinformation and provocative content material in reference to the farmers’ protest. It has stated that the 1,178 listed handles have Pakistani and Khalistani customers, official sources have stated. The social media web site is but to fully adjust to the order, they stated. The corporate has, nevertheless, stated it was respecting native legal guidelines even whereas “defending its foundational precept of free expression”.

Earlier, on January 31, the Ministry of Electronics and Info Know-how had despatched a listing of 257 handles and tweets to be blocked for related causes. Twitter blocked these accounts for few hours earlier than unilaterally unblocking them shortly after.

On February 4, the ministry shared the recent record flagged by safety businesses as accounts of Khalistan sympathisers or backed by Pakistan and working from overseas territories, threatening public order amid the farmers’ protest.

“Many of those accounts had been additionally automated bots that had been used for sharing and amplifying misinformation and provocative contents on farmers’ protests,” a supply stated.

Just a few days in the past, Twitter international CEO Jack Dorsey had “preferred” a number of tweets made by foreign-based celebrities in help of farmer protests, sources stated. In view of this, the platform’s defiance of the federal government’s order to dam the accounts raises a number of questions.

“The federal government additionally objects to Twitter CEO liking some tweets by celebrities because it raises questions on his neutrality,” the supply stated.

A Twitter spokesperson stated the platform was guided by ideas of transparency and empowering the general public dialog. “If we obtain a sound authorized request about doubtlessly unlawful content material on Twitter, we assessment it below each the Twitter guidelines and native regulation. If the content material violates Twitter’s guidelines, the content material can be faraway from the service,” the spokesperson stated.

“Whether it is decided to be unlawful in a specific jurisdiction, however not in violation of the Twitter guidelines, we might withhold entry to the content material within the location solely. In all circumstances, we notify the account holder immediately so that they’re conscious we have acquired a authorized order pertaining to the account. Our purpose is to respect native regulation whereas defending our foundational ideas of free expression,” the spokesperson stated.

The Centre’s newest transfer comes amid the “toolkit” controversy surrounding the farmer protest. Swedish local weather activist Greta Thunberg had final week tweeted a “toolkit” which she later deleted. This doc, in line with the police, aimed to unfold disaffection and ill-will towards the federal government of India and sought to create disharmony amongst varied social, non secular, and cultural teams.

Exterior Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday stated there was a purpose why his ministry reacted to the remarks of celebrities like Ms Thunberg.

“I believe it (“toolkit”) has revealed lots. We now have to attend and see what comes out. You’ll be able to see there was a purpose why the overseas ministry reacted to the statements which some celebrities gave out on issues on which they clearly did not know very a lot,” Mr Jaishankar stated.

Also Read — In a single day Tunnel Rescue In Uttarakhand For 39, Day After Glacier Burst

The 12-foot excessive and 15-foot large tunnel at Tapovan in Chamoli was blocked with slush and particles.


An enormous operation has been on since final evening to rescue some 39 individuals believed to be trapped inside a tunnel after a glacier burst in Uttarakhand on Sunday precipitated flash floods that left 18 useless and over 200 lacking.

The 12-foot excessive and 15-foot large tunnel at Tapovan in Chamoli was blocked with slush and particles, trapping employees of an NTPC thermal energy plant that was washed away. The tunnel is over 2.5 km lengthy with only one entry and bifurcates into two, officers mentionedincluding that it was laborious to inform the place the employees have been trapped or whether or not they have been collectively in any respect.

An official mentioned it was believed that 34 individuals have been trapped in one of many offshoots and 5 within the differentThere was no contact with any of them to this point.

It will likely be a 24X7 operation,” the official mentioned.

Earthmovers and shovels have been utilized by a whole bunch of personnel and locals within the night-long mission to unclog the tunnel’s opening. Within the day, personnel held sticks for higher grip as they entered the sludge-filled tunnel.

Rescuers have been seen in photos and movies carrying wood planks which can be for use to wade in by way of the slush and assist create a platform to drag out the trapped individuals.

Groups are on standby with dragon gentle units, oxygen cylinders and stretchers to offer quick assist to these introduced out.

Earthmovers and shovels have been utilized by a whole bunch of personnel and locals within the night-long mission to unclog the tunnel’s opening.

Over 300 personnel of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and 200 others from the military and catastrophe groups are concerned within the operation.

“About 100 metres contained in the tunnel is cleared and accessible, and it appears to be like like about 100 metres of particles extra must be cleared. This can take just a few extra hours,” an ITBP officer informed NDTV.

Not less than 12 employees have been rescued from a smaller tunnel in the identical space on Sunday night.

On Sunday, part of a glacier burst in Chamoli, triggering an avalanche and a deluge within the Alaknanda river system that washed away hydroelectric stations and 5 bridges. The burst glacier additionally swept away roads and compelled authorities to evacuate villages.

The Uttarakhand authorities has made the next helplines for the Catastrophe Operations Middle obtainable to these caught in affected areas or in want of any assist: 1070 or 9557444486.

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