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India criticizes Big Tech censorship

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India has criticized Meta’s Facebook and Instagram as well as Twitter for suspending accounts. The move is rather ironic considering the government has sent multiple content removal notices to social media platforms and represents a major turnaround for the country.

In a complaint filed this week, India’s Ministry of Information Technology claimed that the suspension of the Twitter account of Sanjay Hedge, a lawyer, violated free speech rights under the Indian constitution, reported the Times of India.

In 2019, the government said it would not get involved in the case of Twitter’s suspension of Hedge’s account.

Last month, the government filed a complaint claiming that Twitter and Meta have to abide by India’s law that requires them to notify users and allow them to defend themselves before content is removed or an account suspended, except for extreme cases like terrorism and rape threats.

The current stance of the Indian government contradicts with its push for regulation of social media under the IT rules that were passed in 2021. Meta challenged the new rules in court, while Twitter said it would comply, and has since taken down accounts at the request of the government.

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