Twitter gives in to Indian government demands, blocks fake PMO accounts [Update]

Earlier this week, Indian government ordered blocking of several sites that were misrepresent violence against Muslim population. While Indian government successfully managed Google and Facebook to comply with the request to remove content from the websites, Twitter is facing government wrath as the company doesn’t have presence in India.twitter_india_blocks

“Other websites, such as Facebook and YouTube have confirmed to the Indian government that the hate content against the people from north-eastern India had originated from Pakistan. However, they have said they cannot take direct action against such sites. But since both Google (parent of YouTube) and Facebook have offices in India, it will be easier for the government sleuths to work with them.
However, India has reportedly faced a tardy response from Twitter, partly because the company doesn’t have presence in India. The response from the US company to block ‘objectionable content’ is reported to be ‘poor’.
According to a department of telecom (DoT) official, if there is no firm response from Twitter, the Indian government will do whatever is necessary in order to “address the problem.” [source]

Twitter has now blocked several PMO (Prime Minister Office) fake accounts (these accounts were active till August 21st, 22:00 PM, as last checked by us), including @PM0India. What’s surprising is that a refresh of the profile page sometimes is showing up the normal Twitter account and sometimes, a messaging confirming that the account has been blocked.

“This website/URL has been blocked until further notice either pursuant to Court orders or on the Directions issued by the Department of Telecommunications”.

Update1 : So it seems Twitter hasn’t blocked these accounts, but these pages are blocked by ISPs, on the orders of DoT. Though several media outlets are reporting that Twitter has blocked several fake PMO accounts, we couldn’t verify it.

Update2 : One of the fake PMO accounts was deleted and has been restarted, with just 1 follower.

Earlier, Twitter released its transparency report and while US topped the list of country for maximum number of requests for user information, Indian government didn’t really pay a lot of attention to Twitter. But with the recent North East exodus issue and the way Twitter was used to spread rumor, expect a change in government stance.

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