Twitter Starts Taking Down Accounts Related To Farmer Protests Amid Govt Pressure


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It’s not yet clear which accounts have been targetted as neither Twitter nor the government has made an official announcement

583 out of the 1,178 Twitter accounts flagged by the government have reportedly been suspended

Besides Twitter, the government’s crackdown also included songs and videos on YouTube

Twitter has reportedly begun complying with the government orders to clamp down on certain accounts and tweets related to the farmer protests. The government has claimed that the accounts are posting content that’s provoking separatist sentiment or are being run by organisations or individuals in Pakistan and are allegedly spreading misinformation about farmer protests as well as the controversial farm laws.

While there’s no official confirmation, a news report based on unnamed sources in the government today claimed that Twitter has removed several posts containing the hashtag that alludes to a genocide of farmers, while the social network is also said to have removed half of the 1,178 accounts that the government had ordered to be taken down.

An ET report claims that out of 257 Twitter posts and accounts that posted content related to the hashtag ‘farmer genocide’, 126 are said to be not working, while 583 out of the 1,178 Twitter accounts, flagged by the government as belonging to Khalistan sympathisers or being backed by Pakistan, have also been suspended.

It’s not yet clear which accounts have been targetted as neither Twitter nor the government has made an official announcement till the time of publication.

After Twitter’s alleged non-compliance last week, the Indian government had considered stricter penal action against the company and its employees, including a potential seven-year jail sentence. The government had also taken particular note of Twitter CEO and cofounder Jack Dorsey ‘liking’ tweets by celebrities that tweeted against the farm laws and supported the farmer protests.

With protests raging in the Indian capital since November 2020 and gaining international recognition in recent weeks, there has been a lot of push back from the government to tackle not just the criticism but also the rampant misinformation in relation to the issue.

Besides Twitter, the government’s crackdown also included songs and videos on YouTube. The video streaming giant removed several videos depicting songs and other images related to the protests, which have engulfed Delhi. This included videos such as singer Kanwar Grewal’s Ailaan, which has over 60 Lakh views on YouTube, as well as Himmat Sandhu’s Asi vaddange, which was released in November 2020. As per reports, Asi vaddange has over 13 Mn views on YouTube.





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