Twitter has reportedly launched a crackdown on accounts related to Indian farmers’ protests. Critics are of opinion that the platform is doing so on dictation of the Indian government which is trying hard to curb the resistance from the affected community. Furthermore, the social media site took this step to target particular accounts that were a huge part of the protest in Delhi, India. On Monday, February 21, the microblogging website suspended several accounts that were instrumental in raising voice for the farmers. However, the accounts had been restored later.
After the suspension of accounts, the supporters of protesters and related group came up with the follow-up accounts.
Why Twitter Banned Kisan Ekta Morcha Supporting Indian Farmers’ Protest?
Kisan Ekta Morcha is one of such accounts like those of Carvan India and Tractor Twitter, and individual journalists playing the role of a helping hand for Indian farmers. The Kisan Ekta Morcha is the byproduct of Indian famers protest which has now became a nationwide call to shut down India. The protest which is on-going since September 2020, is against the three bills that merge giant corporations with the farmers’ business. Twitter blocked the accounts so that the farming community couldn’t pursue their protest against government’s decision.
Several Twitter users including notable figures were alarmed at the social media giant for taking action against the oppressed farmers who were protesting despite facing violence from the government.
Twitter suspended the accounts on the day when the Indian government was busy barricading the Dehli/Punjab border in order to stop the Indian farmers’ protest from echoing in Dehli.
Many have slammed twitter many times for allowing lawless and fascist people, that operate freely on the platform. It took four years for this bird app to suspend Donald Trump despite his open war mongering, white supremacist, illogical remarks, dictatorship tendencies, and spreading false news. The critics are also highlighting how the platform is deaf to the hate-mongering by BJP supporters.
Indian Government Needs Serious Supervision
Military oppression in Kashmir, discrimination against Muslims and other minorities, and this digital crackdown on the voices of protestors are only a few examples of human rights abuses by India. Yet, the international community has not taken an action against the country which claims to be the world’s largest democracy. Twitter is a major platform for international community to engage and it has decided to go against protestors. Intl media has mostly covered the news about military takeover in Myanmar, but they have been ignoring perhaps one of the biggest protests in modern history. Many have opined that this account suspension is a massive blow to democracy by BJP government.
India seems to be experiencing the most fascist government ever. As the protests started gaining popularity Indian government banned Internet in the border area and deployed military barricades. Media coverage of Indian farmers’ protest and their remarks were censored and restricted from the mainstream. And now, this suspension of twitter accounts is a step too far, as said by the observers. They have estimated that Indian government can also attack the farmers physically if its other strategies fail.
India’s Stance On Digital Crackdown
According to state-backed media, Indian government has only filed cases and suspended accounts of those who were sharing false information. Police said that there were fake, misleading, and wrong facts regarding the death of one tractor driver. Police assumed that these accounts deliberately wanted to incite violence, which is why they banned the internet for them.
Farmer protest union opined that Indian government is getting scared of what the protest is becoming as the days go by.