Twitter Now X, Withholds Accounts and Posts in India Due to Government Orders

X, formerly known as Twitter, announced on Wednesday that it is withholding specific accounts and posts in India in response to executive orders issued by the Indian government. The company clarified that it disagrees with the action but cites potential penalties, including significant fines and imprisonment, for non-compliance with the government’s orders.

X’s Global Government Affairs expressed its belief in the importance of transparency and noted that legal restrictions prevent it from publicly sharing the executive orders. The company, however, suggested that it has filed a writ appeal challenging the Indian government’s blocking orders, and the appeal is currently pending. X has notified users impacted by these orders.

The disclosure comes after the Indian government issued orders to temporarily block approximately 177 accounts and posts related to farmers’ protests in the country. The government had previously taken action against social media accounts ahead of the protests, where farmers are advocating for an increase in the minimum support price for their produce.

India is a crucial market for global technology firms, and the country’s amended IT rules grant the government greater powers to ensure compliance from internet services operating in India.

Privacy advocates, including Apar Gupta, have raised concerns about the lack of transparency and accountability in the government’s blocking orders. Gupta highlighted pre-censorship measures and criticized the government’s decision not to disclose or submit to accountability.

The move by X (Twitter) to withhold accounts and posts reflects the complex challenges faced by social media platforms operating in countries with evolving regulatory landscapes and government directives. The situation underscores the ongoing tension between governments seeking to regulate online content and platforms striving to uphold principles of free expression and user privacy.

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