Cong reacts to X blocking accounts linked to farmers' protest on Centre's order | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Congress reacts to X blocking accounts linked to farmers' protest on Centre's order

Feb 22, 2024 03:38 PM IST

X withheld 177 accounts linked to farmers' protests, but disagreed with actions, saying it maintains that freedom of expression should extend to these posts.

The Congress on Thursday lashed out at the Narendra Modi government over social media platform X (formerly Twitter) disagreeing with the Centre's order to block accounts and posts related to the ongoing farmers' protest.

“Murder Of Democracy in India,” Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh posted on X while tagging the platform's statement on the Centre's order.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh.
Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh.

In response the IT ministry's order asking asking social platforms to temporarily block 177 accounts linked to the farmers' protest, the Elon Musk-led platform said,"The Indian government has issued executive orders requiring X to act on specific accounts and posts, subject to potential penalties, including significant fines and imprisonment. In compliance with the orders, we will withhold these accounts and posts in India alone; however, we disagree with these actions and maintain that freedom of expression should extend to these posts."
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“Consistent with our position, a writ appeal challenging the Indian government's blocking orders remains pending. We have also provided the impacted users with notice of these actions in accordance with our policies,” the platform added.

"Due to legal restrictions, we are unable to publish the executive orders, but we believe that making them public is essential for transparency. This lack of disclosure can lead to a lack of accountability and arbitrary decision-making," X added.

Centre's order to block 177 social accounts

HT had learnt that the IT ministry had issued blocking orders against 177 accounts and links related to the farmers' protest to ‘maintain public order’. The orders were issued at the request of MHA and were in addition to the final orders issued on February 14.

At least 35 Facebook links, 35 Facebook accounts, 14 Instagram accounts, 42 X accounts and 49 X links, a Snapchat account and a Reddit account were affected by the blocking orders.

During the 2020-21 farmers' protests, the Centre had blocked social accounts of protesters and multiple journalists reporting on the issue.

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