India directs Twitter to block 1,178 accounts in fresh notice

NEW DELHI: The Indian government has sent a fresh notice to Twitter in less than 10 days, directing it to block 1,178 more accounts believed to be linked to the Khalistan sympathisers and those backed by Pakistan as well.
According to sources, the new notice was sent to Twitter on Thursday last week and the company was yet to comply with the directions.
Earlier this month, the IT ministry had asked the micro-blogging platform to block 257 accounts using the #ModiPlanningFarmerGenocide hashtag amid the farmers’ protest, under the Section 69A of the IT Act.
The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) warned the social media platform of penal action over non-compliance of its order to remove accounts and tweets, which alleged “farmer genocide” in the country.
Content with the hashtag “#ModiPlanningFarmerGenocide” were posted on Twitter, which, according to the government, was designed to “inflame passions” and “hatred”.
Citing that Twitter unilaterally unblocked accounts and tweets despite the government order, the notice said that that Twitter is an intermediary and is obliged to obey the direction of the government and refusal to do so will invite penal action.
Top Twitter management in India faces penal action that may include seven-year imprisonment and fine if the company does not comply with the Indian governments order to remove accounts and tweets as per the notice.
The government said that the company, as an intermediary under Section 2(1)(w) of the act, is once again directed to block access by the public to the said Twitter handles and also the said hashtag with immediate effect.
“It needs to be mentioned that Section 69A(3) provides for specific penal consequences in case of non-compliance of the directions issued under Section 69A of the Act,” the first notice read. (AGENCY)