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Twitter files case in Indian court challenging govt orders to take down content, says report

New Delhi, July 05 (KMS): Twitter is seeking to overturn some of the orders by the Indian Government to take down content from its platform in a legal challenge, says a report.

The US company’s attempt to get a judicial review of the orders is part of a growing confrontation with India, news agency Reuters said in the reported quoting sources.

The social media platform was asked by the Indian government from last many years to act on content including “accounts supportive of an independent Sikh state, posts alleged to have spread misinformation about protests by farmers and over tweets critical of the government’s handling of the COVID pandemic”.

The Indian government has previously said that big social media firms, including Twitter, have not complied with removal requests, despite their legal standing, the report said.

Late last month, India’s IT ministry had warned the Twitter of criminal proceedings if it did not comply with some orders. Twitter complied this week, the report quoting the source, so as not to lose liability exemptions available as a host of content.

Quoting the source further, the report said, Twitter, in a filing with the top court in Karnataka, argued that some removal orders fell short of the procedural requirements of India’s IT act without specifying which ones it wanted to be reviewed.

The IT act allows the Indian government to block public access to content in the name national security, among other reasons.

Twitter, which market research firms say has nearly 24 million users in India, also argues in its filing that some of the orders failed to give notice to the authors of the content. It says that some were related to political content posted by official handles of political parties, the blocking of which amount to a violation of freedom of speech, the report said quoting the source further saying.

Twitter’s tensions with the Modi government flared early last year when it declined to fully comply with an order to take down accounts and posts which New Delhi alleged were spreading misinformation about anti-government protests by farmers.

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