Twitter Sues Indian Government Over Orders to Remove Content

Twitter sued the Indian government on July 5 over orders to remove content on its platform.

The United States-based social media giant filed a lawsuit in the Karnataka High Court in Bangalore to challenge an order from the Indian government to censor content and block dozens of accounts under legislation passed last year.

India’s Information and Technology (IT) Ministry had asked Twitter to remove several accounts and tweets that were not compliant with its new laws that allow the government to block online content that “threatens the security of the state” and public order.

Sources familiar with the matter told BBC News that the Indian government had warned Twitter in June that the company had its “last opportunity” to comply with “several” such orders.

The Indian government had recently demanded Twitter to remove tweets from Indian journalist Ranna Ayyub, who is critical of the government, The Hill reported.

Hours after Twitter filed the petition, Federal Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that all foreign Internet platforms “have [the] right to court [and] judicial review.”

“But equally all intermediary/platforms operating here have unambiguous obligation to comply with our laws and rules,” Chandrasekhar added.

At a press conference, IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that it was important to hold social media companies “accountable” and that they should “self-regulate harmful” content.

Twitter has over 24 million users in India.

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