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X complies with order to block accounts, but disagrees with action

X says it disagrees with the government's action, adds ‘freedom of expression should extend to the posts’

X complies with order to block accounts, but disagrees with action
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Press Insider]

Social media platform X (formerly Twitter) claimed the government ordered it to withhold some accounts and posts, warning that failure to do so would invite potential penalties including significant fines and imprisonment.  

In a post on its Global Government Affairs page, X said it complied with the orders and withheld those accounts and posts in India alone, even though it disagreed with the government’s action. 

“The Indian government has issued executive orders requiring X to act on specific accounts and posts, subject to potential penalties including significant fines and imprisonment. In compliance with the orders, we will withhold these accounts and posts in India alone; however, we disagree with these actions and maintain that freedom of expression should extend to these posts,” the unsigned statement said. 

“Consistent with our position, a writ appeal challenging the Indian government’s blocking orders remains pending,” it said.

Although the company did not identify the users publicly, it added that users have been with notice of these actions as per its policies.

“Due to legal restrictions, we are unable to publish the executive orders, but we believe that making them public is essential for transparency. This lack of disclosure can lead to a lack of accountability and arbitrary decision-making,” X said. 

Reports said many of the accounts and posts were related to the ongoing farmers’ protests. 

Hindustan Times reported last week that the government had issued two sets of blocking orders for social media accounts and links related to farmers’ protests. 

As per an order issued on 19 February, X was asked to block 42 accounts and 49 links, the report said. 

Another set of blocking orders was issued to multiple social media platforms on Wednesday on the recommendation of the central home ministry, the HT reported. 

The government did not make the order public, neither did it react to the X statement. 

Thousands of farmers are seeking to march to Delhi demanding a legal guarantee for minimum support price (MSP) for crops and farm debt waiver. 

Stopped by authorities from entering the national capital, they have been camping at Khanauri and Shambhu borders between Punjab and Haryana.

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