MeitY Calls Twitter Response Blog 'Unusual'; Ask Citizens To Follow It On Koo

Rift between Twitter and the Centre further widens after the former calls government order to block account as inconsistent to Indian law

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In a clear elucidation of a growing rift between the popular microblogging website, Twitter, and the government of India, the ministry of electronics and IT (MeitY) announced joining Koo App, an alternative for Twitter and asked citizens to follow it. 

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Tension between Twitter and the Centre has escalated post the violence on the Republic Day caused during the farmers protests. Following the violence, MeitY had asked Twitter to ban around 1,100 accounts/posts for spreading misinformation, inciting violence and others under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act. However, Jack Dorsey led micro-blogging site, which was yet to compile the previous order directed by the government to ban certain accounts (again related to farmers protests) on Tuesday in a blog said that the recent orders directed by MeitY to Twitter  was inconsistent with Indian law. 

Following the orders directed by MeitY, Twitter in some cases has  permanently suspended certain accounts, against more than 500 accounts escalated across all MeitY orders. The company has also withheld a portion of the accounts identified in the blocking orders and suspended them only in India.

Twitter said it will not take any action on accounts that consist of news media entities, journalists, activists, and politicians as the company thinks would violate their fundamental right to free expression under Indian law. 

“We will continue to maintain dialogue with the Indian government and respectfully engage with them,” the blog post read.

Interestingly, the blog was posted before a meeting scheduled between the IT secretary of MeitY and senior management of Twitter. MeitY on its Twitter account and Koo handle posted about the development and called the posting of the blog as ‘unusual’. The ministry said it will share a response soon. However, it is well elucidated  that Twitter’s posting of blogs did not go down well with the government .

Soon after the tweet, MeitY on Twitter posted its official Koo handle and asked citizens to follow it for further update. Lately, multiple ministries and its offices have joined Koo, an indigenious microblogging site in a bid to support Atma Nirbhar Bharat.