Twitter urges Indian government to respect freedom of expression – World

Twitter said on Thursday that it is concerned about the safety of its employees in India and called on the government to respect freedom of expression when the Indian police visited its office in New Delhi, including a governing party spokesperson A tweet was labeled “manipulation” by “Media”.

Twitter has been involved in a tense battle with the Indian government, which has often asked it to restrict content accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration of trying to quell criticism, including its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. is.

Twitter said it “has concerns regarding the use of intimidation tactics by police” and “poses a potential threat to freedom of expression for the people we serve.”

Read: India asks Twitter to remove some tweets critical of its COVID-19 handling

On Monday, the Indian police visited the Twitter office in New Delhi and issued a notice, directing them to answer questions about the tagging of the tweet.

“It appears that Twitter has some information that we do not know on the basis of which they have classified it as such,” the police said in a statement.

On Wednesday, the messaging app WhatsApp filed a suit in the Delhi High Court, arguing that new government regulations that require external parties to make messages “traceable” are unconstitutional and undermine the fundamental right to privacy Huh.

WhatsApp currently uses end-to-end encryption for its messaging service, which encrypts the messages in such a way that no one other than the sender and receiver is able to read the messages sent between them.

Extensive new rules for technology companies were announced in February that hold them more accountable for content shared on their platforms. The 90-day grace period to comply with the rules ended on Wednesday.

Leaders of Modi’s party last week tweeted parts of a document they said was created by the main opposition Congress party to show the government its bad handling of the pandemic. Some Congress leaders complained on Twitter that the document was forged. In response, Twitter characterized some posts as “manipulation media”.

Under Twitter rules, it applies the “manipulation media” tag to posts that have been “deceptively altered or fabricated”.

Twitter said in its statement on Thursday that “to keep our service available, we will try to follow the law applicable in India.”

“But, as we do around the world, we will continue to be strictly guided by the principles of transparency, a commitment to empower every voice on service, and to protect freedom of expression and privacy under the rule of law.”

Critics accused Modi’s government of silencing criticism on social media, especially Twitter, a charge denied by senior leaders of the ruling party.

The new social media rules give the government more power to police online content. They require internet platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to clear up content that authorities deem illegal and help with police investigations, including identifying originators of “mischievous information”.

Social media sites including Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp were given three months to comply.

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