Opaque censorship leaves Twitter users chafing

Indian legal demands for content removal are the fourth highest in the world
Despite rising censorship of Twitter posts and accounts on the basis of legal demands from the Indian government, law enforcement agencies and others over the last five years, the lack of transparency behind suspensions, blocked tweets and the practice of shadow-banning has left users angry. Between June and December 2018 (the last period for which data is available), Indian government, law enforcement agencies and others made 657 legal demands for content removal, apart from 10 court orders. Overall 2,228 accounts were reported, of which 95 accounts and 114 tweets were withheld.
100-fold increase
Indian demands for content removal were the fourth highest in the world for this period, and have increased 100-fold from the same period five years ago.
When contacted by The Hindu regarding such cases of censorship and the process followed to ensure transparency, a Twitter spokesperson refused to answer specific questions, saying, “We don’t comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons… At Twitter, no one is above our rules. We enforce our policies judiciously and impartially for all users — regardless of their political beliefs and background.” Information on official legal requests made to Twitter under Indian law is published twice a year, the spokesperson added. According to Twitter records, many content removal demands from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology simply cited a violation of Section 69(A) of the Information Technology Act, 2000. When Twitter receives such a demand, it usually sends an email notice to the affected user. (Twitter says it does not send such notifications if prohibited from doing so.)

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/opaque-censorship-leaves-twitter-users-chafing/article29580011.ece

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