Twitter has taken down a few tweets on the alleged security breach that left Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his convoy stranded on a flyover in Punjab. The takedown request was made by the Indian government on the grounds that the tweets violated the Information Technology Act, 2000. MediaNama has seen public disclosures of the government orders made available by Twitter to the Lumen Database. The website receives and publishes disclosures by private entities, including social media companies, of legal takedown notices they get from governments and other private entities all over the world. Out of the ten tweets that were taken down, seven of them used the hashtag #KhalistanReferendum, many of them had pictures of Modi's cavalcade stranded on the flyover in Punjab, and had a general message which echoed anti-BJP sentiments. Few of them had seemingly pro-secessionist views on Punjab. A Twitter account that posted one of the censored tweets, has been suspended. Although it was not mentioned which government ministry or agency sent the legal request on January 12, it has generally been the work of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) in the past. The lack of transparency when it comes to takedown requests issued by the Indian government signals that the online space for exercising fundamental rights such as freedom of speech is shrinking. Twitter recently censored accounts that tweeted pro-secessionist views on Punjab, Kashmir Around 24 tweets and accounts that put up pro-secessionist content…
Tweets on Prime Minister’s security breach taken down upon government request
The content that’s been made inaccessible to Indian users was largely critical of India’s ruling party.
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