Micro-blogging site Twitter has on Saturday sent an “official correspondence” from its legal department to several Kashmiri Twitteratis – who have been frequently posting about the conflict in Kashmir – that their Twitter profile contains data that stands in violation of “Indian Law”.
- The mail has been sent from firstname.lastname@example.org.
- It says Twitter has received “… official correspondence regarding your Twitter account.”
- The mail goes on to say, “… your account is in violation of Indian law … Please let us know if you decide to voluntarily remove the content identified on your account.”
- Neither the nature of the “official correspondence” nor the particular post that has been complained upon has been revealed in Twitter’s mail.
- The mail does mention that the recipients may take legal counsel in this matter.
Hindustan Times (HT) has confirmed that at least a dozen profiles have received these mails.
- The language of all these mails is the same with the difference being only in the profile’s name.
- Surprisingly, a few non-Kashmiris – including a Pakistani Analyst Sabena Siddiqi – have also received this mail.
- A closer look at these Kashmiri profiles reveals that some posted content does take on a separatist stand about Kashmir, as well critically question the role of India in Kashmir!
In response to HT’s email query, Twitter said that they can’t comment on individual accounts due to “… privacy and security reasons …”, and instead pointed to its “Country Withheld Content Policy”. This policy goes on to say, “… [U]pon receipt of requests to withhold content, we will promptly notify affected users.”
- Meanwhile, Twitter has received a complaint from Government of India’s Ministry of Electronics and IT dated August 24, asking Twitter to block 115 handles as they propagate objectionable content.
- This complaint has found its way to the Lumen Database, where this complaint is stored as a PDF copy.
One of the Kashmiri recipients of Twitter’s mail has this to say: “It’s the face of India’s 21st-century repression of Kashmiri activists.” He went on to say that as the Kashmiri voices have been amplified to the world by the social media, this amplifying has become a problem for the state.