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Twitter, Challenging Orders to Remove Content, Sues India’s Government

Twitter said on Tuesday that it had sued the Indian government, escalating the social media company’s fight in the country as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks more control over critical online posts.

In May 2021, the police in India raided Twitter’s offices after the company decided to label tweets by politicians from Mr. Modi’s party as “manipulated media.” Those tweets attacked opposition members who had been using the platform to criticize Mr. Modi and what they called his government’s stumbling response to the pandemic.

And in recent weeks, the police in New Delhi arrested Mohammed Zubair, the co-founder of a prominent fact-checking website, for a 2018 tweet that shared an image from an old Bollywood film. The government said the image was causing communal disharmony, after a Twitter account with just a few followers and only one tweet complained about it and tagged the Delhi police. That account disappeared soon after.

Last week, Twitter was ordered to block tweets from Freedom House, an American nonprofit organization that mentioned India as an example of a country where press freedom was on the decline.


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