X disagrees with govt action to block accounts, posts linked to farmers’ protest


PTI, Feb 22, 2024, 9:55 AM IST

Social media platform X on Thursday expressed disagreement with the Indian government’s order to block accounts and posts related to the ongoing farmers’ protests and called for extending freedom of expression to the affected posts.

The Ministry of Electronics and IT has ordered social media platforms to temporarily block 177 accounts that were linked to farmers’ protests on request of the Ministry of Home Affairs, according to sources.

”The Indian government has issued executive orders requiring X to act on specific accounts and posts, subject to potential penalties including significant fines and imprisonment. In compliance with the orders, we will withhold these accounts and posts in India alone; however, we disagree with these actions and maintain that freedom of expression should extend to these posts,” X said in a post.

The social media platform said that a writ appeal challenging the Indian government’s blocking orders remains pending and called for making the order public to enhance transparency.

”Due to legal restrictions, we are unable to publish the executive orders, but we believe that making them public is essential for transparency. This lack of disclosure can lead to a lack of accountability and arbitrary decision-making,” X said.

The social media firm has provided the impacted users with notice of the government actions in accordance with the company’s policies.

Farmers from across the country have been protesting to press for their demands, including a legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP) for crops and farm debt waiver.

Meanwhile, farmer leaders on Wednesday put their march to the national capital on hold for two days after a protester was killed and about 12 police personnel were injured in clashes at one of protest sites on the Punjab-Haryana border.

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