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Social Media X On Deleting Posts on Farmers’ Protest

News is that social media platform X, formerly known as twitter, has told that it disagrees with the action of removing posts from its platform amid the farmers protest. It emphasises that the removal of posts is similar to the removal of their freedom of expression.

India’s request to block accounts during the farmers’ protest is seen as a threat to freedom of speech, according to X. The social media platform complied with government orders to remove certain accounts and posts, though it expressed disagreement with the action. This decision comes amidst ongoing protests by thousands of Indian farmers, who have been demonstrating about 200km north of New Delhi. They were met with police resistance, including tear gas, when attempting to march to the capital.

Jairam Ramesh, a lawmaker from the main opposition Congress party, criticized the move on X, calling it an assault on democracy in India.

As of now, the Indian government has not officially commented on the issue.

X’s Global Government Affairs acknowledged legal restrictions preventing the publication of government orders. However, the platform emphasised the importance of transparency and accountability. They stated that while they can’t disclose the executive orders, they believe it’s crucial for the public to be aware of them to prevent arbitrary decision-making. Additionally, X mentioned that a writ appeal challenging the government’s actions is currently pending.

To give in more detail, The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) recently issued orders to suspend 177 accounts associated with the ‘Delhi Chalo’ protest by farmers near the national capital. MeitY then directed major social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, X (formerly Twitter), and Snap to block these accounts.

These urgent directives from MeitY were prompted by the Ministry of Home Affairs on February 14, one day following the commencement of the ‘Delhi Chalo’ protest. The companies were instructed to suspend the accounts until February 19 to ensure law and order, after which they could be reinstated.

Monika Shanmugam