Twitter sues India’s government over content takedown orders

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Twitter has sued the Indian government to challenge some of its takedown orders, a source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch, further escalating the tension between the American social giant and New Delhi.

The lawsuit follows a rough year and a half for Twitter in India, a key overseas market for the firm, where it has been asked to take down hundreds of accounts and tweets, many of which critics argue were objected because they denounced the Indian government’s policies and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Reuters first reported the lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday. A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment.

Twitter has partially complied with the requests, but sought to fight back many of the challenges. Under India’s new IT rules, which went into effect last year, it has little to no room left to individually challenge the takedown orders.

The tension was apparent on May 24 last year, when Delhi police, controlled by India’s central government, visited two offices of Twitter — in the national capital state of Delhi and Gurgaon, in the neighboring state of Haryana — to seek more information about Twitter’s rationale to label one of the tweets by ruling partly BJP spokesperson as “manipulated media.”

Delhi police said it had received a complaint about the classification of the spokesperson’s tweet and visited the offices to serve Twitter India’s head a notice of the inquiry. In a statement, the police said Twitter India’s managing director’s replies on the subject had been “very ambiguous.”

Twitter India managing director resigned from the firm last year.

This is a developing story. More to follow…

Source: Tech Crunch


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