Arts & Entertainment

India orders Twitter to ban pornographic handles amid slew of cases

New Delhi, Jun 30 (EFE).- India’s National Commission for Women, a government body, on Wednesday ordered Twitter to ban accounts sharing pornographic content and urged a police investigation, even as the social network continues to face multiple complaints and enquiries amid tensions with the Indian authorities.

“The NCW has taken suo moto cognizance of several profiles on Twitter sharing pornographic content. Chairperson Rekha Sharma has written to the managing director of Twitter India for immediately removing all such pornographic and obscene content from the platform within a week,” the commission said in a statement.

The body has also ordered a police probe and urged authorities to take “appropriate “legal action in the matter,” insisting that the platform had not acted upon earlier requests to remove pornographic content “which not only violates Indian laws but also Twitter’s own policy.”

Indian authorities across differenr states have registered at least four cases against Twitter in recent days.

On Tuesday night, Delhi police registered a case over availability of child pornography on the platform.

Moreover, the publication of an Indian map by Twitter that excluded the disputed territories of Kashmir and Ladakh, has led to two other complaints being registered in the states of Uttar Pradesh (north) and Madhya Pradesh (center).

“Twitter’s publication of this erroneous map has hurt the sentiments of Indians and is an attempt to damage India’s sovereignty,” the Madhya Pradesh police narrated over a complaint filed by Durgesh Keswani, resident of the state capital Bhopal.

The managing director of Twitter India, Manish Maheshwari, also figures in another case in Uttar Pradesh that accuses the network of promoting hate, for publishing a video showing a Muslim man being attacked that went viral.

The case comes amid tensions between the Asian country and the micro-blogging platform over the latter’s alleged failure to comply with a series of new Indian regulations, which have been dubbed a threat to freedom of expression and privacy by several networks, including WhatsApp.

The new rules, enforced from May 26 under the name of Intermediary Guidelines, make it mandatory for the networks to rapidly delete content deemed illegal and require digital platforms to trace the originator of “illegal” messages and content.

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