India World

Twitter briefly blocks hundreds of Indian accounts, tweets linked to farm protests on government demand

Twitter briefly blocked hundreds of Twitter accounts in India on Monday in response to a legal notice by the government, citing objections based on public order.

The accounts were all linked to continuing farmers’ protests against a series of agricultural reform laws.

They included farmers’ leaders, activists and a news magazine.

The protests are now in their third month, with many farmers camped on the outskirts of the capital, Delhi.

Reports say government officials highlighted in their submission to Twitter about 250 accounts and tweets which they said constituted a threat to public security.

Two popular accounts associated with the protest, Kisan Ekta Morcha and Tractor2Twitr, were withheld.

Twitter also blocked the accounts of Caravan, a news magazine, activist Hansraj Meena, actor Sushant Singh and other lawmakers.

The timeline of these accounts were blanked out and a message read “Your account has been withheld in India in response to a legal demand.” It is unclear what the legal demand mentions.

A Twitter statement said, “If we receive a valid and properly scoped request from an authorised entity, it may be necessary to withhold access to certain content in a particular country from time to time.”

India had earlier suspended mobile internet services in three areas around Delhi, where farmers are protesting the new agriculture laws.