The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has blocked 8775 Twitter URLs between 2014, the year Prime Minister Narendra Modi government took charge, and June, 20, this year. While only eight URLs were blocked in 2014 and 15 the next year, a whopping 2851 URLs were blocked in 2021, the highest so far.
This was revealed in Parliament today by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology in response to question by Pradyut Bordoloi, Lok Sabha MP from Assam.
“In line with the objective of the Government to ensure an open, safe and trusted and accountable internet for all its users, the ministry issued directions for blocking malicious Twitter URLs,” said Chandrasekhar in a written reply in Lok Sabha.
All Twitter accounts that displayed hostile posts or activities, were blocked citing violation of Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, added the Union minister.
Recently, Twitter has approached the Karnataka High Court seeking to overturn some Indian government orders to take down content in a legal challenge which alleges abuse of power by officials. A massive surge in blocking has been witnessed from 2019, the year when general elections were held and there was a nationwide protest against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019. In continued in 2020 when the government blocked a large number of Twitter URLs during the riot that took place in Delhi.
During the second wave of Covid in April 2021, Twitter censored 52 tweets on the government’s request. During the farmer protests also, Twitter blocked multiple tweets and handles in response to an order issued by the Central government. More than 250 Twitter handles were asked to be deactivated.
Copyright©2022 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today