Top Twitter executives face the possibility of arrest as the row over Twitter’s disagreement of the government’s notice escalates. Under Section 69A of the IT Act, top Twitter executives are now facing arrest if the Centre’s demand of banning some handles spreading provoking “farmer genocide” hashtags and those supporting pro-Pakistan and pro- Khalistan objectives are not fulfilled. It has been made clear by the Centre that demands on such accounts are non-negotiable.
Twitter executives Monique Meche and Jim Baker met Union IT secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney after releasing a report on the action taken on the government’s orders. As the centre loses its patience on the Twitter non-compliance of its orders, Twitter might knock the court’s door in its defence of “right of free expression”.
A government statement said that the laws must be obeyed immediately and if they are executed days later, it becomes meaningless.
Twitter was reminded by the Secretary about the action taken by Twitter during the Capitol Hill episode in the USA and compared that with the disturbance in Red Fort in India and its repercussion. He said Twitter sided not with freedom of expression, but rather with those who seek to abuse such freedom and provoke disturbance to public order.
Twitter said it reduced visibility of tweets spreading harmful content and permanently suspended over 500 accounts violating its rules. Twitter said they did not take any actions on accounts that consist of journalists, activists, politicians and news media entities as it violated freedom of expression under the Indian law.
The government turned down Twitter’s request for a meeting with IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, but after initially postponing the meeting with the IT Secretary the meeting took place later in the day eventually.
The Twitter officials were informed that they must follow the Centre immediately.