Twitter seeks talks with India over order to remove accounts

Twitter says it is seeking talks with India’s technology minister, days after the country asked the US-based social media giant to take down 1,178 accounts it says are spreading misinformation about ongoing farmers’ protests.

New Delhi wrote to Twitter on February 4, asking it to remove the accounts, which it said were backed by archrival Pakistan or operated by sympathisers of Sikh separatists, two technology ministry sources said, adding the company had yet to comply.

India’s security agencies said some of the accounts were being operated from outside the country and were sharing and amplifying misinformation and provocative content on the farmers’ protests, one of the ministry sources told Reuters news agency, declining to be named as the order was not public.

Twitter, which counts India as one of its top markets, did not comment on whether it had complied with the government’s order.

“We continue to be engaged with the government of India from a position of respect and have reached out to the Honourable Minister for a formal dialogue,” a spokeswoman for Twitter in India said, adding that the safety of its local staff was a top company priority.

India’s security agencies said some of the accounts were being operated from outside the country and were sharing and amplifying misinformation and provocative content on the farmers’ protests, one of the ministry sources told Reuters news agency, declining to be named as the order was not public.

Twitter, which counts India as one of its top markets, did not comment on whether it had complied with the government’s order.

“We continue to be engaged with the government of India from a position of respect and have reached out to the Honourable Minister for a formal dialogue,” a spokeswoman for Twitter in India said, adding that the safety of its local staff was a top company priority.

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