Months After Indian Gov't Threatens To Jail Twitter Employees, Twitter Now Blocking Tweets That Criticize The Indian Government

from the thuggish-censorship dept

Back in February, we wrote about how the Indian government was threatening to jail Twitter employees if the company wouldn’t block various tweets that were critical of the government’s handling of farmer protests in that country. While Twitter pushed back, eventually it did block a bunch of content, though it appears it did so reluctantly, and only because it had no other choice.

And now we’re seeing it happen again. The COVID pandemic situation in India is a completely out of control, and rather than fix its completely bungled response to the pandemic, the Indian government has been demanding that Twitter block tweets criticizing the government’s response.

As first spotted by Medianama, Twitter agreed to block access to 52 tweets for users in India. People elsewhere can still see them, so we can see what kinds of tweets the Modi government doesn’t want people to see. Tweets like this:

Or this:

In other words, it appears that rather than deal with the fact that the government totally failed to deal with the COVID situation, its main focus right now is making sure that people in India can’t talk about how badly the government handled all of this.

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Companies: twitter

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Comments on “Months After Indian Gov't Threatens To Jail Twitter Employees, Twitter Now Blocking Tweets That Criticize The Indian Government”

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

rather than deal with the fact that the government totally failed to deal with the COVID situation, its main focus right now is making sure that people in India can’t talk about how badly the government handled all of this

Somewhere, Old 45 is wondering why he couldn’t do that.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
That One Guy (profile) says:

Nice priorities all around

Twitter shows that it can be pressured to cover up government actions that are resulting it deaths(which raises the question of how many times they’ve already done so, and how many more times they will do so in the future?), and the Indian government shows that it cares more for it’s image than keeping it’s citizens alive…

Oh yeah, everyone’s coming out of this one looking great.

Anonymous Coward says:

A little off topic but have you heard about what going on in Canadia with Bill C-10 that gives the CRTC new regulatory power over all user uploaded videos as “programs” under the Act. YouTube, Facebook and any other site with user generated content video would now be subject to CRTC rules this may also apply to apps.

JustMe (profile) says:

Re: Bill C-10

Ahh, I’m not sure about that. Also – it was tabled five months ago.

https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/csj-sjc/pl/charter-charte/c10.html
Tabled in the House of Commons, November 18, 2020
New and updated regulatory requirements for broadcasting services

The Bill clarifies that the Act applies on the Internet. Clause 1 would add online undertakings as a distinct class of broadcasting undertaking subject to the Act. Online undertaking would be defined in the Act as an undertaking for the transmission or retransmission of programs over the Internet to the public by means of broadcasting receiving apparatus. Users of social media services who upload programs for sharing with other users, and are not affiliated with the service provider, would not be subject to broadcasting regulation in that respect. Similarly, clause 3 would specify that the Act does not apply in respect of programs uploaded by unaffiliated users to social media services for sharing with other users, and in respect of online undertakings whose only broadcasting consists of such programs.

Anonymous Coward says:

Is the full content of the 52 Twitter postings available?

The site referenced describes three postings, but obviously we should see them all. I see they reference a Lumen database that I and all of us really ought to know how to use, but it looks like there are 1000 pages of Twitter India content and you have to request access to the URLs. I imagine somebody has access to the URLs though.

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