‘Committed to Freedom of Expression’: US on Twitter Row in India

The US reaction comes amid tensions escalating between Twitter and the Central government.

Tech and Auto
2 min read
The Indian government has asked Twitter to remove 1,178 accounts that have Pakistani and Khalistani users involved. Image used for representation. 

The US State Department on Wednesday, 10 February, stated that it is committed to supporting democratic values, including freedom of expression, while commenting on the social micro-blogging website Twitter blocking several accounts on the request of the Indian government.

“Well, I think what I would say generally is that around the world – and this goes back to what I was saying before – we are committed to supporting democratic values, including freedom of expression. I think, when it comes to Twitter’s policies, we’d have to refer you to Twitter itself,” said US Department of State Spokesperson Ned Price, when asked to comment on the tension between Twitter and the Indian government.

Earlier, a similar question was asked to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, where he also stated concerns about the freedom of speech being targeted. “Of course, we always have concerns about crackdowns on freedom of speech, freedom of expression happening around the world and when it doesn’t allow people to communicate and peacefully protest,” Psaki said at a press conference.

Twitter Vs Indian Govt

This move comes amid the ongoing row between Twitter and Indian government where the latter has asked the micro-blogging platform to remove accounts allegedly spreading misinformation and uploading provocative content.

“We have withheld a portion of the accounts identified in the blocking orders under the Country Withheld Content policy within India only. These accounts continue to be available outside of India,” said Twitter in a blog post on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Centre has expressed its strong displeasure over Twitter for pinning the issue down to its blog post without any formal interaction. “Upon the request of Twitter seeking a meeting with the government, the Secretary IT was to engage with senior management of Twitter. In this light, a blog post published prior to this engagement is unusual. Government will share its response soon,” a tweet by the Ministry stated.

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