Twitter sues the Indian government for forcing the social network to delete content

Twitter is in a duel against the Indian government after the increasing censorship towards the platform.


Twitter has sued the Indian government after receiving orders to remove content within the platform.

The lawsuit was filed in Karnataka High Court, in the southern city of Bangalore, and comes after the Indian government warned company executives in February of taking criminal action if they did not comply with its orders, local media reported.

Why is Twitter rebelling against India?

In the lawsuit, Twitter alleges that New Delhi abused its power by ordering it to arbitrarily and disproportionately remove several tweets from its platform, a source familiar with the matter said.

The company also alleged that the government threatened to launch criminal proceedings against its compliance director in India if the company did not comply with the orders, the source added.

Of course, it has not been determined what specific content the government determined should be eliminated.

A duel of months

The lawsuit is part of a growing confrontation between Twitter and New Delhi after the Indian government last year passed a sweeping new set of regulations that give it more power to police online content.

The new rules require companies to remove or block content that authorities deem illegal. Under the laws, employees of social media websites and technology companies can be held criminally liable for failing to comply with government orders.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has for years sought to control social media, often ordering Twitter to remove tweets or accounts that appear critical of his party and administration. 

Twitter has complied with most of those orders in the past, but has also resisted others, calling the new rules a “potential threat to freedom of expression.”