Centre asks X to block certain accounts. Read more

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Billionaire Elon Musk’s social media company X (formerly Twitter) has stated that it has received orders from the Indian government to block certain accounts and links or face potential penalties for non-compliance, including significant fines and imprisonment.

The global government affairs team of X said they are unable to publish the Centre’s executive orders due to legal restrictions but “believe that making them public is essential for transparency”. 

The Centre is yet to respond to the allegations.

The Indian government has issued executive orders requiring X to act on specific accounts and posts, subject to potential penalties, and in compliance with the orders, X will withhold these accounts and posts in India alone. However, X disagrees with these actions, maintaining that freedom of expression should extend to these posts.

The microblogging site has been in conflict with the Indian government over the past few years, objecting to guidelines and expressing concerns about the “potential threat to freedom of expression.” 

This recent development marks a new flashpoint in the escalating tensions between the social media platform and the Indian government.

It is noteworthy that this comes shortly after a Norwegian MP nominated Elon Musk for the Nobel Peace Prize for being a “stout proponent of free speech.” Musk’s record of pushing free speech on X has been chequered, with concerns raised about a rise in hate speech against specific sections following the takeover of the microblogging site. 

Musk, however, has stressed that free speech, according to him, is that “which matches the law.”

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