Home Latest News Farmers protest: X complies with Indian government’s order to suspend accounts but says “We disagree…”

Farmers protest: X complies with Indian government’s order to suspend accounts but says “We disagree…”

Social Media Platform X, Owned by Elon Musk, Follows Indian Government's Orders on Delhi Chalo Protest

by Web Desk
Farmers protest: X complies with Indian government's order to suspend accounts but says "We disagree..."

Social media platform X (formerly Twitter) that is owned by billionaire Elon Musk has confirmed that it complied with executive orders issued by the Indian government demanding the suspension of specific accounts and posts that are allegedly associated with the ongoing farmers’ Delhi Chalo protest. 

At the same time, the social media company has expressed its disagreement with the Indian government’s directives and emphasized its commitment to freedom of expression. 

Accounts Blocked Due To Executive Orders Issued By Indian Government

“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,” the official Global Government Affairs account of X wrote on the microblogging site. 

“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,” it stated. 

The Global Government Affairs also announced that 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.”

Due to legal restrictions, X said it is unable to publish the executive orders but said that making them public is essential for transparency, because the lack of disclosure can lead to a lack of accountability and arbitrary decision-making. 

177 Social Media Accounts Blocked For The Duration Of Protest

This came after the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) finalized its emergency order directing top social media companies like Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, X, and Snapchat to block 177 accounts and links related to the farmers’ protest to maintain ‘public order’.

The said Ministry issued the emergency orders at the directive of the Ministry of Home Affairs. These were in addition to the final orders issued on 14 February. The report notes that both the blocking orders issued on 14 and 19 February are conditional. They have been issued for the duration of the ongoing protest post which the social media companies can restore these accounts and channels.

The orders were issued against 35 Facebook links, 35 Facebook accounts, 14 Instagram accounts, 42 X accounts, 49 X links, 1 Snapchat, and 1 Reddit account. 

It is notable that while it is common for the government to take down Facebook and X accounts and has happened in the past, this is the first time the Centre has issued a blocking order against Snapchat.

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