100 Twitter Accounts of J&K Residents Blocked: CPJ

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SRINAGAR – US based organisation working for the rights and welfare of journalists world over, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has alleged that micro blogging social site, Twitter has blocked nearly a million tweets from accounts that focus on Kashmir, at the behest of the Indian government.

Media reports have said, that a study by the CPJ, having a chapter in India as well, revealed that almost 100 accounts were also made inaccessible to the residents of the Jammu and Kashmir in  last two years, spurring claims that Twitter is contradicting the very values it purports to uphold.

The study maintained that Twitter agreed to block more accounts in Kashmir than in every other country combined.

Data released by Twitter to Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Centre and its Lumen project, which was then published publicly and analyzed by the CPJ, showed that legal notices to the company directing them to take down tweets or accounts started to spike in August of 2017.

Since then, Twitter agreed to uphold 131 of the 4,722 requests from Indian officials to remove content.

According to reports, David Kaye, the UN special rapporteur for Freedom of Opinion and Expression, told CPJ, “It totally makes sense the Indian government would go after Twitter and Twitter users, because Twitter as a platform is a really significant source of information sharing for journalists and activists and regular citizens in Kashmir.”

Pertinently David Kaye has previously expressed his concerns about Twitter’s opaque policy of removing content related to Kashmir, allegedly at the behest of India. He is reported have written a letter to CEO, Jack Dorsey, in 2018, stating that the company needs to do more to challenge Indian censorship. CPJ has said that experts have told the organisation that Twitter could do more to fight the legal notices in court, an avenue which experts have told, has not been explored. Among those news outlets that were taken off by twitter, in the last two years include, “The Kashmir Narrator” and “The Voice Kashmir”. (CNS)


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