The Indian government's war with Twitter from freemexy's blog

There the social media giant was told that it was "welcome to do business in India", but it had to follow the laws of the country "irrespective of Twitter's own rules and guidelines".To get more twitter news, you can visit shine news official website.

The backdrop of the meeting was the mounting tension between Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government and Twitter over tweets and accounts linked to the continuing farmers' protests against a series of agriculture reform laws.

The largely peaceful agitation had been jolted by violence involving a group of protesters on 26 January, which left one person dead and hundreds of policemen injured. The government had asked Twitter to remove tweets that had used an incendiary hashtag, and accounts allegedly used by Sikh separatist groups and "backed by Pakistan".

Twitter had first blocked some 250 accounts in response to a legal notice by the government, citing objections based on public order. These included accounts of an investigative news magazine, and activists and outfits associated with supporting the months-long protests on the outskirts of Delhi. Then, six hours later, Twitter restored the accounts, citing "insufficient justification" for continuing the suspension.Mr Modi's government was not pleased. In a terse statement, it ordered Twitter to block the accounts again, and threatened people working for the company in India with legal action - up to seven years in prison - if they refused to do so. The tweets, insisted the government, were part of a "motivated campaign to abuse, inflame and create tension in society on unsubstantiated grounds".

On Wednesday, Twitter responded. In a blog, the firm said it had suspended more than 500 accounts - some permanently - that were engaged in "platform manipulation and spam", taken action on "hundreds of accounts" that violated its rules on incitement and violence, and prevented certain terms that violated its rules from trending. In line with its rules, some accounts had been blocked only in India.

But it also said it would not block accounts belonging to media companies, journalists, activists and politicians because that would "violate their fundamental right to free expression under the Indian law".

The face-off continues. India's information technology minister has now joined in, telling the parliament on Thursday that "action" would be taken against social media platforms if they were "misused to spread fake news and violence"."You have millions of followers in India, you are free to do business and make money, but you will have to follow the Indian constitution," Ravi Shankar Prasad, said, naming a number of sites, including Facebook and Twitter.

Many say it is not clear whether the government is trying to strong-arm Twitter to silence protesters or moving towards blocking it from India.

"I think we need to move beyond the rhetoric and move to action if the government really believes that Twitter has violated the law. What is the point of issuing statements, having meetings, when you think they are breaking the law? What is stopping the government from taking action?" says Nikhil Pahwa, a digital rights activist and editor of MediaNama, a technology policy website.

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