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Government asks Twitter to restrict profiles of porn sites xHamster, ManyVids

While the request may seem arbitrary as the handles of other major porn sites remain unblocked, this year has seen several such exchanges between the government and Twitter.  The Indian government on Monday asked Twitter to take down the Twitter handles of adult sites xHamster and ManyVids, MediaNama has learned. The social media company disclosed the request on Thursday evening in the Lumen Database, a transparency project which contains takedown request disclosures by some tech companies from all countries. It is unclear which part of the government filed this takedown request — takedown notices under the Information Technology Act, 2000 have frequently been sent by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) over the last two years. We have reached out to MeitY and Twitter for comments. We have also reached out to xHamster for comment, along with an attorney who has represented the CEO of ManyVids in the past. We will update this post if any of them respond to our queries. Why it matters? While most major porn sites remain blocked in India due to an unchallenged Uttarakhand High Court ruling, it is somewhat unprecedented for the government to go after their social media accounts. Even in the case of porn websites, the Indian government had indicated in 2018 that it would only act on the basis of a court order, which the Uttarakhand High Court provided; it is unclear why the government has gone after the Twitter handles of these two companies keeping that stand in view.…

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

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