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Twitter Freezes Account of CEO of India's Largest Public Broadcasting Agency

Twitter on Monday freezes (withheld) account of Prasar Bharti CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati and some other individuals and organizations. The microblogging site said in a statement that it had responded to "a properly scoped request from an authorized entity".

Prasar Bharti, which comprises the Doordarshan Television Network and All India Radio, is India's largest public broadcasting agency headquartered in Delhi.

"Many countries have laws that may apply to Tweets and/or Twitter account content. In our continuing effort to make our services available to people everywhere, if we receive a properly scoped request from an authorized entity, it may be necessary to withhold access to certain content in a particular country from time to time," Twitter said in a statement to ANI.

Twitter accounts of Kisan Mukti Morcha has also been "withheld". Some of the "withheld" accounts had been tweeting about the controversial farm laws.

"Transparency is vital to protecting freedom of expression, so we have a notice policy for withheld content. Upon receipt of requests to withhold content, we will promptly notify the affected account holders (unless we are prohibited from doing so e.g. if we receive a court order under seal). More information can be found here," the Twitter statement added.

Prasar Bharti asked Twitter to explain the reason for withholding Vempati's account.

"Dear @twitter @TwitterIndia could you explain the grounds for withholding CEO Prasar Bharati's Twitter handle @shashidigital in India?" it said.

Meanwhile, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, who chairs the Parliamentary Committee on Data Protection Bill, condemned the blocking of Prasar Bharti CEO's account and said it has "victimised the person who told you to take the right step".

"It shows how artificial is artificial intelligence," she said.

The MP said Vempati had made a complaint concerning an account who was writing against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"While taking action they blocked his (Vempati's) account as well. This clearly shows when the real intelligence is missing this is what happens. I have always pleaded that there is a need for fair artificial intelligence. It clearly shows hashtag like that should have been detected immediately and should have been corrected immediately. The person who has made a complaint is obviously not a part of the process but by blocking that handle you are victimising the person who told you to take the right step," she said.

Farmers have been protesting in Delhi for the repeal of three new farm laws. They have held 11 rounds of talks with the government. 

SOURCE - BusinessWorld.in

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