India slams Twitter amid face off over content

  • India rebuked Twitter on 10 Feb 21 for not complying with its orders to take down certain content and warned the social media giant that it needs to obey local laws, even as Indian lawmakers urged their followers to switch to home-grown rival Koo.
  • Twitter Inc riled Indian PM Modi’s government earlier on 10 Feb 21, after it said in a public blog post that it had not fully complied with the government’s order to remove more than 1,100 accounts because it believed some of the take-down orders were not consistent with Indian law.
  • India’s IT Ministry, via a post on rival platform Koo, said late on 10 Feb 21 that its top official had on a call with some of Twitter’s top executives expressed “strong displeasure” with Twitter’s actions.
  • The IT secretary expressed his deep disappointment over the manner in which the company had “unwillingly, grudgingly and with great delay” complied with only parts of the government’s orders, the government statement added.
  • Public opinion in one of Twitter’s key markets is split. Some lawyers say Twitter must comply or challenge the order in court while activists blame the government for using legal provisions to curb free speech.
  • Meanwhile, as the row takes a toll on Twitter, many Indian politicians and users are joining the home-grown Twitter-like social media platform Koo, which was launched in 2020.
  • Koo said downloads have surged 10-fold in the past two days to over 3 million.

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