According to the Lumen database, Twitter “withheld” about 35 tweets in response to a legal request from the Indian government.
According to a document in the Lumen database, Twitter received a legal request from the Indian government on June 21 for action against 37 tweets.
Because the tweets were not made public, the content could not be independently verified.
When 35 tweets are clicked on the blocked URLs listed in the Lumen database, a message stating that the tweet has been “withheld in IN in response to a legal demand” is displayed.
The message “This Tweet is unavailable” was displayed on two links.
The Lumen database is an independent research project that studies cease and desist letters regarding online content, and requests for content withholding received by Twitter are published on its website.
A Twitter spokesperson responded, “As explained in our Country Withheld Policy, it may be necessary to withhold access to certain content in response to a valid legal demand or when the content has been found to violate local law(s).”
The withholdings, according to the spokesperson, are limited to the specific jurisdiction/country where the content is determined to be illegal.
The account holder is notified directly (via email to the email address associated with the account(s), if available) that Twitter has received a legal order pertaining to the account.
“The legal requests that we receive are detailed in the annual Twitter Transparency Report, and requests to withhold content are published on Lumen,” the spokesperson continued.
Twitter recently restricted 50 tweets in response to a legal request dated June 17.
The US-based company has been in the crosshairs for failing to comply with new IT rules in India, which require social media platforms with more than 50 lakh users to appoint three key personnel – chief compliance officer, nodal officer, and grievance officer. All three personnel must be Indian citizens.
Despite repeated reminders from the government, Twitter has yet to comply with the social media guidelines, which went into effect on May 26.
Twitter briefly barred IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad from accessing his account on Friday due to an alleged copyright violation, escalating tensions with the government as it came under renewed fire for failing to follow local laws.
The government had previously chastised Twitter for deliberate defiance and failure to comply with IT rules, which has resulted in the US company losing its legal shield as a ‘intermediary’ in India and becoming liable for any unlawful content posted by users.
According to recent government data, Twitter has an estimated 1.75 crore users in India.