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MEITY instructs Twitter to block over 1,000 accounts related to farmers protest: Report

Credit: Kisan Ekta Morcha Twitter

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) has instructed Twitter India to block more than 1,100 accounts related to the ongoing farmer's protest, the Economic Times reported. This is the second order that the ministry has issued in recent weeks to block accounts on the micro-blogging site that were either involved in sharing information, or were commenting on specific developments related to the protest. Last week, MEITY sent an order to Twitter to block 257 accounts and 1 hashtag. The accounts belonged to the Caravan Magazine, Kisan Ekta Morcha, Tractor2twitr, Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) and others. While Twitter restored the accounts a few hours after blocked them arguing that they constituted 'free speech', the government did not budge from its position and sent a notice to Twitter enforcing its original order to block specific accounts and hashtag with immediate effect. Citing unnamed government officials, the report said that MEITY sent a list of 1,178 accounts to Twitter on February 4, stating that these accounts, many of which are bots, were spreading misinformation and threatening public order. Twitter is yet to comply with the new order, the report said. MediaNama has reached out to Twitter and MEITY for comments. Their responses will be included when received. Twitter defied MEITY's earlier order: In its notice last week, the MEITY argued that the blocks were necessary to maintain 'public order'. It said that its order was proportionate as blocking individual tweets, as opposed to the accounts, was not practical. Further, the…

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