Censor-Happy Twitter Begs Indian Government to Respect Free Speech

Jack Dorsey testifies to Congress
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Twitter has called on the Indian government to respect free speech after the social media giant received a visit from Indian police at its office in New Delhi over its labeling of a tweet by a governing party spokesman as “manipulated media.”

AP News reports that on Thursday, Twitter stated that it is worried for the safety of its staff in India and called for the Indian government to respect freedom of expression after the company’s New Delhi offices was visited by Indian Police over its labeling of a tweet by a governing party spokesman as “manipulated media.”

Twitter has been battling the Indian government for some time over requests by officials to restrict content alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration is trying to silence criticism. Twitter stated that it has “concerns with regards to the use of intimidation tactics by the police” and “the potential threat to freedom of expression for the people we serve.”

India’s IT ministry called Twitter’s statement “totally baseless, false and an attempt to defame India.” The ministry added that Twitter should “comply with the laws of the land” instead of “dictating what India’s legal policy framework should be.” The ministry also stated that representatives of Twitter and other social media firms “are and will always remain safe in India.”

On Monday, Indian police visited Twitter officers in New Delhi to serve a notice directing the company to answer questions about its tagging of a tweet from a governing party spokesman as “manipulated media.” The police said in a statement: “It appears that Twitter has some information which is not known to us on the basis of which they have classified it as such.”

Twitter said in a statement that “to keep our service available, we will strive to comply with applicable law in India.” The company added: “But, just as we do around the world, we will continue to be strictly guided by principles of transparency, a commitment to empowering every voice on the service, and protecting freedom of expression and privacy under the rule of law.”

Twitter engages in regular acts of censorship on a massive scale, such as regular purges of conservatives. In one recent case, Jack Dorsey’s platform “mistakenly” censored photos of migrants held in overflow cells at the southern border.

Read more at AP News here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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