October 3, 2022

A source familiar with TechCrunch told TechCrunch that Twitter has filed a lawsuit against the Indian government to challenge some of the takedown orders, adding to the tension between the US social giant and New Delhi.

In its lawsuit filed on Tuesday, Twitter alleged that New Delhi abused its power by ordering it to remove several tweets from its platform.

The lawsuit comes nearly a year and a half later for Twitter in India, a major overseas market for the company, where it was asked to remove hundreds of accounts and tweets, which many critics argue were objected to because they denounced the Indian government’s policies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Reuters initially reported the lawsuit. A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment.

Twitter partially complied with the requests, but sought to withstand many challenges. Under India’s new IT rules, which took effect last year, Twitter does not have enough room left to individually challenge takedown orders.

The tension between the two was apparent on May 24 last year, when the Delhi Police, which is controlled by India’s central government, visited two Twitter offices – in the national capital Delhi and Gurgaon, in the neighboring state of Haryana – to get more information. About Twitter’s rationale for classifying a tweet by partially judging a BJP spokesperson as “manipulated media”.

Delhi Police said it had received a complaint about the spokesperson’s tweet rating and had visited the offices to inform the head of Twitter India of the investigation. The police, in a statement, said the responses of the managing director of Twitter India on the matter were “extremely vague”.

Twitter at the time described the episode as “intimidating”.

The company said the company had “concerns regarding the use of intimidation tactics by police in response to enforcement of our global terms of service, as well as with key elements of the new IT rules.”

Twitter India’s general manager resigned from the company last year.

Twitter is not the first tech giant to sue the Indian government. WhatsApp sued New Delhi last year, defying new regulations that could allow authorities to make people’s private messages “trackable”, and conduct mass surveillance.

This is an evolving story. More to track…

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