India wrote to Twitter warning the site to comply with directives to block accounts and content connected to a farmers’ protest, a source from the technology ministry said on Wednesday.
On Monday, after the government said that users were sharing material aimed at encouraging abuse, Twitter suspended hundreds of accounts in India, including that of a major news magazine.
But it unblocked some of these accounts later.
“Facebook arbitrarily unblocked pages, ignoring the request of the government, tweets. Twitter is an agent and they are obligated to follow the government’s guidance,” Reuters told the source, who refused to be named as the notice sent to Twitter was not public.”
A government official previously told Reuters, India’s Home Affairs Ministry had asked for the suspension of “close to 250 Twitter accounts” that were allegedly uploading material that aimed to foment abuse.
“Content was posted on Twitter with #ModiPlanningFarmerGenocide, which was intended to inflame passions, hatred and was factually incorrect,” the source of the technology ministry said.
Twitter has declined to comment on the failure to notice
For months, tens of thousands of farmers have camped on the outskirts of New Delhi demanding the removal of new laws that they argue, at the expense of growers, favour private buyers.
The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi disputes this, saying the changes are opening up new prospects for farmers.
India’s IT ministry did not respond to a request for comment immediately.
The protests gained international attention after remarks were posted on social media by US singer Rihanna, climate change activist Greta Thunberg and US lawyer and activist Meena Harris, niece of Vice-President Kamala Harris, drawing attention to the plight of the farmers protesting.
In response, India slammed foreign celebrities as misleading and reckless for making statements in favour of protesting farmers and said vested interest groups were attempting to construct opinions against the government.