“Twitter must be flowing,” Twitter said in a stand-off with India

Twitter is hitting a rebellious note on it Struggle With India on limiting accounts in the country. On Monday, the Indian government disobeyed an order from the IT ministry that recovered more than 250 accounts, the agency said in its first official response after India demanded it cancel. Among the blocked accounts were a newspaper called Caravan and people who criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“We strongly believe that the release of information has a positive global impact, and that tweets must flow,” the agency said in a statement shared with BuzzFeed News.

The Twitter statement came in the face of India’s growing dictatorial government as millions of farmers protested agricultural reforms and shook the country.

On monday Indian media reports The government said the agency had asked to block about 1,200 additional accounts, saying it had tweeted about the protests and that they were being run from Pakistan. A Report The Times of India also quoted an unnamed government official as saying that India was upset with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for liking tweets supporting the protests. A Twitter spokesman declined to comment.

On January 31, India’s Ministry of Information issued a Twitter order To prevent More than 250 accounts of activists, political commentators and caravans are being viewed inside the country. Twitter initially complied but changed course six hours later. In response, the Government of India Order The site again threatened legal consequences for blocking accounts and for violating the order by Twitter officials in India, including fines and up to seven years in prison.

But a week later, the accounts are still open, putting the agency’s employees in India at risk of government retaliation.

“The safety of our employees is our number one priority on Twitter,” the company said in a statement. “We are engaged with the Government of India from a position of respect and have reached out to the Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology for formal discussions.”

Twitter’s move has been at the center of a free speech debate in a country that opposes the farming of millions of farmers who say it will hurt their incomes by watching the ongoing crackdown against the victims. For Twitter, blocking accounts again means this crackdown will be enabled, but not limiting them risks legal consequences.

Twitter said, “We review reports from the government as soon as possible and take appropriate action on such reports, ensuring our core values ​​and commitment to protecting people’s conversations.” “An update is shared through our established channels of communication with the government.”

Despite the polite language, Some peopleIncluding Ex Twitter staff saw double meaning in the statement. During the Arab Spring in 2011, the company’s co-founder Biz Stone and former general lawyer Alexander McGillivray wrote a post clarifying the company’s position for free. It was Title: “Tweets must flow.”

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