According to two technology ministry sources, India has asked Twitter to take down 1,178 accounts the country says are backed by neighboring nation Pakistan or operated by sympathizers of a separatist Sikh movement.
As reported by The Express Tribune, one of the sources said that India’s security agencies believed that some of the accounts were being operated from outside of the country.
Many of these accounts were sharing and amplifying misinformation and provocative content on the ongoing farmer’s protests, the source added.
Tens of thousands of farmers have camped on the outskirts of India’s capital New Delhi for months demanding the withdrawal of new agriculture laws.
Twitter has yet to comply with the government order, which was issued on February 4, the sources said.
India’s IT ministry reportedly did not immediately respond to a request for comment
Twitter did not confirm or deny whether it had complied with the government’s latest order but said it reviews content under its rules and local laws when it receives a legal request about potentially illegal posts.
“If the content violates Twitter’s Rules, the content will be removed from the service,” the company said in a statement. “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 the location only.”
Twitter earlier this month refused to comply with an Indian government directive to block more than 250 accounts and posts, a move that has put the social media giant at the center of a political firestorm in one of its key markets.
Moreover, CEO Jack Dorsey kicked up a storm in India last week after he liked a tweet suggesting the company should consider introducing a farmer protest emoji.