India’s government is trying to monitor expressions of opinion on the Internet more closely. Twitter is now lamenting “police intimidation tactics”.
Twitter is concerned about the safety of its employees in India. In addition, there is a potential threat to freedom of expression in view of new guidelines for social platforms, Twitter wrote in a statement on Thursday.
The rules of the Indian government that came into force on Wednesday oblige platforms and services such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp, among other things, to identify the original sender of a piece of content. The government has long tried to monitor expressions of opinion on the Internet more closely. Police recently also visited Twitter offices in the capital, New Delhi, in connection with a tweet from a spokesman for the ruling party that Twitter had labeled “manipulative”.
“We, with many in civil society in India and around the world, have concerns about police intimidation tactics in response to the implementation of our global terms of service and core elements of the new IT rules,” a Twitter spokesman said. “We plan to advocate changes to parts of these regulations that inhibit free and open public discourse.”
WhatsApp, which belongs to the Facebook group, is taking legal action against the new rules, as the company believes that they violate the right to privacy granted in the Indian constitution.
Recently, the government had also instructed Twitter and other social networks to delete entries that criticized the government’s corona management, among other things – on the grounds that they could lead to panic. Social networks have responded to a number of such requests. However, Twitter said it had done nothing against verified accounts of media organizations, journalists, activists and politicians for reasons of freedom of expression.