On Tuesday Twitter unblocked a number of accounts it suspended earlier this week including those belonging to pro-farmer activists and leaders, publications like the Caravan Magazine, and farmers' unions like Kisan Ekta Morcha and Tractor2twitr, among others.
“Protecting public conversation and transparency is fundamental to the work we do at Twitter, the content has been unblocked,” Indian media quoted Twitter as saying.
The Caravan and farmers' union Kisan Ekta Morcha posted tweets to check if their accounts were up and running again.
Is this tweet visible to indian accounts ?— Kisan Ekta Morcha (@Kisanektamorcha) February 1, 2021
We seem to be back. We always will be pic.twitter.com/PjvlHdwKnX— Hartosh Singh Bal (@HartoshSinghBal) February 1, 2021
Twitter blocked around 250 accounts in India upon the country’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology's (MeitY) request. The ministry underlined the accounts for using specific hashtags while tweeting about the farmers' protests – opposing three new farm laws – that have been rumbling on the borders of the capital New Delhi since November.
“If we receive a properly scoped request from an authorised entity, it may be necessary to withhold access to certain content in a particular country from time to time. 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),” Twitter added.
The exact number of accounts Twitter has restored in India remains unclear.
Thousands of farmers marched into the capital on 26 January, violating a pact with the police, resulting in clashes.