X takes down accounts that media say are linked to India farmers protests

International Desk

Published: February 22, 2024, 11:20 PM

X takes down accounts that media say are linked to India farmers protests

Collected Photo. File

Social media platform X said on Thursday it took down certain accounts and posts following an order by the Indian government, which local media reports say are linked to ongoing protests by farmers demanding higher prices for crops, reports Reuturs. 

The platform formerly known as Twitter did not provide details of the removals but said it disagrees with the action and that the move amounts to curtailing freedom of expression.

The action puts the spotlight again on the struggles faced by foreign technology giants operating in India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi‍‍`s government, which has often criticized Google, Facebook and Twitter for not doing enough to tackle what it calls fake or "anti-India" content.

X said its position on the matter was consistent with its ongoing legal challenge against the Indian government‍‍`s content blocking orders.

"We will withhold these accounts and posts in India alone; however, we disagree with these actions and maintain that freedom of expression should extend to these posts," X‍‍`s Global Government Affairs said in a post, without naming the accounts.

The statement comes following a week of protests by thousands of Indian farmers who have camped 200 km (125 miles) north of Delhi after police blocked their march to the capital and fired tear gas at crowds trying to press forward.

National daily Hindustan Times reported, opens new tab that the "emergency" blocking orders issued last week by the government covers accounts of some farmers‍‍` groups and supporters.

The interior affairs and information technology ministries did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Jairam Ramesh, a lawmaker from India‍‍`s main opposition Congress party, said in a post on X that the move represented the "murder of democracy in India".

X‍‍`s Global Government Affairs said, opens new tab legal restrictions do not allow it to publish the government orders but the platform wants to maintain transparency.

"This lack of disclosure can lead to a lack of accountability and arbitrary decision-making," it said.

Link copied!