Social media giant, Twitter, is being accused of censoring speech once again. This time, though, it isn’t the right or left who are making these accusations, but rather rights activists and journalists based in India.
According to Al Jazeera, a Qatar-based journalism site, hundreds of thousands of tweets have been deleted with a majority of them being critical of the policy on the Indian-administered Kashmir. Late 2018 saw a large number of accounts withheld compared to the rest of the world with more than “the rest of the world combined.”
As of this moment, a large chunk of the internet is down with mobile phones only having partial accessibility. This communication blackout has gone on for a lengthy three months, leading to lost or outdated information. Many of those in the community have used Twitter to vent their frustrations when it comes to Kashmir, leading to several instances of the government making attempts at social media shut down. These shutdowns were under the grounds of perceived protest incitement.
What’s more, Ahamed, a New Delhi resident and media researcher, had his account suspended by Twitter. He only got unsuspended after deleting multiple critical Kashmir-related tweets. The 29-year-old told Al Jazeera:
“My account was not restored until I was forced to delete those tweets. The message continued to display that the said tweets are against their so-called policy.”
Allegedly, the police have nothing to do with the Twitter reports. But, an anonymous source backtracked the statement claiming they were behind the blocking of the accounts.
“After identifying the Twitter handles, a request is made through a magistrate for their blocking. After getting a proper court order same is sent to Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), an expert agency that handles computer security incidents.”
“No one is above our rules.”
In response, Twitter explained that on the platform, “no one is above our rules.” They went on to explain they enforce their rules all the same no matter the ideology the user may have. That being said, they did mention they have to follow
People can take it wholeheartedly or with a grain of salt if they wish. The bottom-line is blurry at best.