The Indian government said that its order to deactivate 257 Twitter handles is non-negotiable. The government has agreed to meet Twitter officials to discuss this issue.
Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) agreed to hold a virtual meeting with Twitter officials to deliberate over the issues flagged by the government earlier. According to India Today, Ajay Sawhney, Secretary Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) will be meeting Twitter officials.
Meanwhile, the government has decided to promote homegrown Twitter-like app Koo. The Centre is annoyed with Twitter regarding the platform's reluctance to comply with the government's order over taking down certain accounts in the wake of January 26 violence, according to India Today. Recent reports indicate that most union ministers will soon shift to Koo.
This week, Centre had sent a notice to Twitter India asking the platform to block another 1,178 accounts. After a few days, when Twitter failed to remove or block around 250 accounts, the government registered the failure to remove the accounts as non-compliance of its orders.
Earlier, Twitter had responded to the Centre's request to block accounts related to the farmers' protest. Twitter had requested a formal dialogue with MeitY. "An acknowledgment to the receipt of the non-compliance notice has also been formally communicated," the company had said in a statement.
Twitter released a blog post on Wednesday responding to the government's blocking orders. "Beginning on 26 January 2021, our global team provided 24/7 coverage and took enforcement action judiciously and impartially on content, Trends, Tweets, and accounts that were in violation of the Twitter Rules - our global policy framework that governs every Tweet on the service," Twitter wrote in the blog post.
Twitter said that it had permanently suspended more than 500 accounts for clear violation of Twitter's rules and in accordance with MeitY's orders. However, Twitter added it will not take action against accounts that consist of news media entities, journalists, activists, and politicians. It said that doing so "would violate their fundamental right to free expression under Indian law".