Twitter files lawsuit against the Indian government over blocking orders

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Twitter has filed suit challenging the order asking it to take down content on its platform. The social media giant filed the petition with the high court in Karnataka state. Twitter is praying the court to stop the authorities from compelling it to obey the order, reports the BBC.

Twitter’s suit was in reaction to a letter from the Indian government warning of “serious consequences” of non-compliance of such orders.

With more than 24 million Twitter users in India, the microblogging platform would see such warning from the government as a threat to free speech.

Apparently in reaction to Twitter’s lawsuit, federal minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar posted a tweet per the BBC insisting that all foreign Internet platforms had to comply with Indian laws. Chandrasekhar, however, added that Twitter has the right to go to court.

India’s information technology law allows the government to block online content that “threatens the security of the state.”

Sources familiar with the matter told the BBC that Twitter’s decision to go to court was due to the “seriousness of the threats.” The sources added that failure to comply with the law could lead to criminal proceedings being brought against violators.

A couple of months ago, Twitter was blocked in Russia, and had to introduce the use of Tor to enable access for its users in the country.

The social media giant also reduced the visibility and amplification of any tweets that include content from Russian state media links. What this means is that such content will not appear in Twitter’s “Top Search” result, and they will not be recommended by the microblogging platform.

Going forward, Twitter will start adding the label to content posted from Russian-owned media sites. Yoel Roth Twitter’s Head of Sight Integrity, however, said Twitter intends to add labels to links shared from state-supported media organizations from other countries.

Twitter boasts of a couple of tools to help users fight online trolls and filter out toxic content. The company has spent the last few years working on these tools, while also promising to add more.

Twitter also added a “safe search” feature that gets rid of potentially sensitive content and tweets from blocked and muted accounts from search results. While the tweets will be available on the microblogging website when people search for them, they will not appear in general search results.

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Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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