Twitter helps India block account of singer Jazzy B who tweeted in support of farmers

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<p>Twitter helps India block account of singer Jazzy B who tweeted in support of farmers</p> (Jazzy B/ Instagram)

Twitter helps India block account of singer Jazzy B who tweeted in support of farmers

(Jazzy B/ Instagram)

Twitter has withheld the account of Canadian-Punjabi singer Jazzy B, hip-hop artist L-Fresh the Lion, and two others in response to a legal demand from the Indian government.

The 46-year-old singer is known for posting tweets in support of farmers protesting the Indian government’s agriculture laws.

The four accounts have been “geo-restricted,” which means they still are accessible from abroad.

The government requested this under the country’s controversial technology laws under which they reserve the power to “impose reasonable restrictions on accounts that pose a threat to national security.”

As perTechcrunch, all withheld accounts had posted content against the government’s farm laws and some had even criticised prime minister Narendra Modi’s administration.

A Twitter spokesperson said in a statement: “When we receive a valid legal request, we review it under both Twitter rules and local law. If the content violates Twitter’s rules the content will be removed from the service. If it is determined to be illegal in a particular jurisdiction, but not in violation of the Twitter rules, we may withhold access to the content in India only.”

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“In all cases, we notify the account holder directly so they’re aware that we’ve received a legal order pertaining to the account. We notify the user(s) by sending a message to the email address associated with the account(s), if available,” he added.

This is not the first time Twitter has blocked accounts at the request of the Indian government.

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In April 2020, 52 posts were taken down from Twitter following the government’s orders as the public authority claimed they were spreading fake news.

Most of these tweets were incredulous about the treatment of the Covid health crisis as the second wave in India caused deficiencies of beds, oxygen, and medicines.

In February, the social media platform also blocked access to dozens of Indian accounts posting about agitation by farmers, reportedly at the orders of the federal government, amid fears of protests on the social media platform spilling onto the streets in repeat violence at the heart of the nation’s capital.

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At that time, Hindustan Times reported that the order came from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and was applicable to nearly 250 accounts that allegedly amplified a hashtag that could have disturbed peace.

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