A handful of Twitter users have found themselves in hot waters as the social microblogging platform has withheld official Twitter accounts of certain Indian activists, journalists, and even magazines in India citing “legal demand”. Also Read - Twitter Undo Send timer button coming, could save you from typos in your tweet
According to a Free Press Journal report, official accounts of actor Sushant Singh (@sushant_says), magazine The Caravan, activist Hansraj Meena, the Kisan Ekta Morcha, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Jarnail Singh, CPI(M) leader Md Salim and more have been withheld by the platform. Also Read - Twitter testing new Shopping Cards for its Android app
More on the list
India’s public service broadcaster, Prasar Bharti’s CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati’s is also on the list of names whose account has been withheld. Also Read - Twitter's Clubhouse-like Spaces now available for Android: What is it, how to use, and more questions answered
Prasar Bharti has sought a reason for the withholding, however, the ‘legal demand’ is not known and Twitter also has not responded on the same.
According to Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair, there are several other accounts that have been withheld by Twitter which can be found in this thread.
The Delhi Police earlier had registered an FIR against The Caravan magazine for allegedly spreading false information about the farmer who died during the protest on 26th January. The magazine put out a tweet citing an eyewitness, saying that the farmer was shot by the police.
Why a Twitter account would be withheld
An account can be withheld if a higher authority has called for the same. In technical terms, the same is called a ‘legal demand’.
Additionally, tweets and/or accounts that are withheld include a clear visual indicator. It is up to the account holder to challenge the underlying request by writing to Twitter.
“If you see the above message, it means Twitter was compelled to withhold the entire account specified (e.g., @username) in response to a valid legal demand, such as a court order,” reads Twitter’s policies.