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Comply! Govt to Twitter on farmer protest hashtag

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New Delhi, Feb 03: The government today put Twitter on notice for unblocking of over 250 accounts and posts that talked about farmer genocide. The government also issued notice to Twitter saying that the social media company was violating the Information Technology Act's Section 69 that provides for 7 years imprisonment.

Comply! Govt to Twitter over farmer protest

The notice read, " this is a motivated campaign to abuse, inflame and create tension in society on unsubstantiated grounds. Incitement to Genocide is not Freedom of Speech. It is a threat to law and order."

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Having considered in totality the contents of the interim order, the oral submissions of the advocate/representative of Twitter at the Committee meeting, and also the mail from Twitter expressing its disobedience of legal blocking orders, the competent authority is satisfied that it is necessary and also expedient in the interest of public order and also for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognisable offence relating to public order that Twitter as an intermediary under Section 2(1)(w) of the act is once again directed to block access by the public, the said Twitter handles and also the said hashtag with immediate effect.

"You are aware of the prevailing situation, which not only has the potential, but has in fact, resulted into a major public order issue [violence] on 26.01.2021. The statutory authorities are doing everything possible to ensure that no adverse public order situation takes place and no cognizable offences are committed," the notice said.

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    The notice also said Twitter has no constitutional, statutory or legal basis whatsoever to comment upon the interplay of statutory provisions with constitutional principles or to unilaterally read down the scope of statutory provisions as per its own limited private understanding of the constitutional and statutory laws of India.

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    Government officials said that Twitter had been asked to block over 250 accounts or tweets that were using a specific hashtag. The IT Ministry has blocked around 250 tweets and Twitter accounts which were being using #ModiPlanningFarmerGenocide hashtag and making fake, intimidatory and provocative tweets.

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