Is Twitter India censoring content of users from Kashmir?

Hindustan Times yesterday reported that several Kashmiri Twitter users who frequently tweet on the Valley’s conflict received an email from Twitter India saying that an “official correspondence” was received about the content on these profiles violating “Indian law”.

The report says,

“The correspondence claims that your account is in violation of Indian law. Please note we may be obligated to take action regarding the content identified in the complaint in the future. Please let us know by replying to this email as soon as possible if you decide to voluntarily remove the content identified on your account.”

While the email does not specify which posts attracted the complaint, “a scrutiny of the Kashmiri profiles that have received the communication shows that some of the content they post take a separatist stand on Kashmir and severely question the role of the Indian state in Kashmir.”

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The report does not specify which accounts received this email from Twitter India, nor does it divulge the content of these accounts. The writer of the story, Abhishek Saha, got called out for his lopsided reporting on Twitter.

Khalid Shah, who is a journalist based out of Kashmir, also adds that many accounts blocked by Twitter are “laced with content promoting Abu Dujana, Musa, Burhan Wani, AQIS etc.” and the accounts which do not breach the reasonable restrictions are still functional, which Saha has not reported.

Saha then clarifies that his story only focuses on users receiving the email from Twitter. Not who or why anyone received it.

Well, it would seem like partial reporting if you mention Twitter users receiving an email from Twitter India about content on their page, without divulging information on which handles got it for what content.

Perhaps screenshots of those tweets or handles could have given a slightly better picture on why Twitter is reaching out to these users. Khalid further states how the annexure which had details was ignored by Saha, which could have given clearer picture.

Indian Express carried out a similar story, except, they mention how they tried to access accounts and links mentioned in the annexure but most of it led to either a suspended account or deleted tweet. However, several of the links were still accessible. Saha fails to mention this in his report.

Saha then tries to defend his story by saying how the emails were sent as a means to curb Freedom of Speech. However, as per Khalid, most of these handles were militants sympathisers with pro-Musa content.

But seems like the reporting could be biased for a reason.

Of course, every story has a baffling, liberal twist.

Why should the Government of India want pro-militant and pro-separatists accounts blocked? After all, all they want to do is liberate India from the Hindus.

Essentially, Hindustan Times journalist Abhishek Saha wrote a story claiming Twitter is curbing freedom of speech of Kashmiris on behest of Government of India without specifying and getting into details about which these handles are and why were they sent a notice. He even defends it by saying how the focus of the story was the emails sent by Twitter and not the users who received. Which is baffling because wouldn’t that be more informative? The report misses out on giving details in the annexure, and that a lot of these posts were deemed to be pro-separatists and pro-militants, which is why the emails were sent.

About time peddling one-sided narrative comes to an end. Not sure which is more dangerous, false narrative or one-sided one?


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