As officials insist it must abide by the law, Twitter has filed a lawsuit against the Indian government, contesting a recent ruling requiring it to ban accounts and remove certain content.
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Twitter’s appeal against the Indian government was submitted on Tuesday to the Karnataka High Court in Bangalore, claiming it violates the freedom of speech guaranteed to citizen-users of the platform.
According to TechCrunch, Twitter’s appeal was submitted on Tuesday to the Karnataka High Court in Bangalore. It claims that the government decision is not supported by existing laws and violates the “freedom of speech guaranteed to citizen-users of the platform.”
While a company spokesperson told the New York Times that Twitter complied with the deadline to erase dozens of accounts and posts on Monday, the legal challenge quickly followed.
Ashwini Vaishnaw, the electronics and information technology minister, insisted that “It is everyone’s responsibility to abide by the laws passed by the country’s parliament” during a news briefing on Tuesday in response to Twitter’s latest lawsuit.
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The Indian government passed a law granting the government greater control over social media last year, enabling officials to request the removal of content deemed offensive, such as claimed disinformation and hate speech. Platforms could be held liable for user content if they don’t comply and lose their liability protections.
Twitter has mostly complied with these directives, but it has also expressed worries about the “potential threat to freedom of expression” that these regulations may pose and openly argued with authorities that it believed were “arbitrarily and disproportionately” enforcing laws.
The most recent lawsuit comes after WhatsApp filed a similar legal challenge, which opposed India’s stricter social media legislation after being informed that it would be required to make private messages “traceable” for law enforcement upon request. The government has contended that privacy rights are not “absolute” and “subject to reasonable restrictions” even though that case is still pending.