Twitter is challenging a series of account-blocking and suspension orders in India, clashing once more with a government that’s sought to rein in US tech giants.
The social network operator has filed a legal petition to overturn as many as 39 blocking orders, arguing they’ve been too broad and arbitrary. The company complied with the orders under protest, but now seeks a ruling from the Karnataka High Court to set them aside, according to a person who has viewed the petition’s content.
Twitter has not commented on the lawsuit, but media outlets in India reported that the company has asked for a judicial review of the takedown orders saying that they were either “overbroad and arbitrary” or “disproportionate.” The case was filed in the Karnataka high court in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government has sought in recent years to have more control over content on social media in India, where Twitter has over 20 million users.
Last year as India saw massive anti-government protests by farmers, Twitter was ordered to take down dozens of accounts for supporting the demonstrations. But the US firm reinstated them, angering the government.
An Indian climate activist was also arrested in February 2021 on sedition charges for helping to edit a protest “tool kit” that was tweeted by Greta Thunberg.