Twitter is fast becoming a platform where ideological battles are fought. Several people take to the platform to express their thoughts on various subjects that impact national and international issues. Scientist and columnist Anand Ranganathan too, much like everyone else, uses the platform to express his views on politics, judiciary, society, etc.
A free speech absolutist, while criticising the use of left “activist” Rehana Fatima today, Anand Ranganathan got a rude shock. He realised that some of his tweets in the Twitter thread where he had criticised the use of draconian laws to stifle free speech, certain tweets of his were missing.
It turns out that certain tweets of his were withheld in India. The reason that is being displayed to users reads “This tweet from @ARanganathan71 has been withheld in India in response to a legal demand”.
Livid, Anand Ranganathan tweeted questioning Twitter India about the reasons his tweets were withheld.
Excuse me? What ‘Legal Demand, @TwitterIndia? And may I know who made this demand? Your ‘Learn more’ doesn’t mention anything.
— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) November 27, 2018
According to the Twitter help page, a user would see such a message if the tweet was withheld vide a legal demand, like a court order.
The Twitter rules also specify that Twitter would inform the affected user of their content being withheld unless they are prohibited to do so vide a court order under seal.
For now, it would seem like the tweets against the contempt of court notices served to S Gurumurthy and Vivek Agnihotri was withheld vide the instructions of the honourable court.
Anand Ranganathan has tweeted again and it’s to be seen if the tweet will be withheld again. We’d update this article without prejudice to any party when there’s a new development in the case.