The war of words between Twitter India and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) of India is not seeming to end any soon, as the ministry has now hit back at Twitter.
Twitter India had earlier filed a lawsuit in the High Court of Karnataka stating that the government of India allegedly ordered the social networking platform to take down 1,474 accounts, and 175 tweets.
Out of these legal demands from the Indian government, Twitter India has already disputed nearly 39 demands.
Now, the ministry in an official review claimed that the content removal orders from the authorities are proportionate to the size of the user base social media platforms have in India.
According to a report by The Economic Times, the ministry claims that total cumulative legal take-down demands from India make up 7% of the global figure of take-down orders. This is in consonance with the number of actual users, as the Indian user base makes up nearly 7% of Twitter’s entire global user number.
Internal Reports from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, obtained by The Economic Times, state that India has made 17,338 legal demands since 2012. These demands have been in several instances ordering the social media company to take down accounts, and tweets and restrict some specific content.
Ministry claims that this growth in take-down orders is in line with the growth of the user base of Twitter in the country.
Ministry in its reports also used data from other countries to support its stance on the issue of increasing legal demands.
East Asian countries like Japan and South Korea have issued a large number of legal take-down orders in the past.
While users based in Japan only constitute 18% of the entire user base of Twitter, the island nation has issued take-down orders which would add up to 32% of the global figure.
In a similar way, South Korea, which only makes up to 2 % of Twitter’s global user base, has sent the company a large number of take-down orders which makes up to nearly 5% of the entire legal orders received by Twitter in the past few years.
In the internal reports, the ministry also pointed out facts regarding how low Twitter India was complying with the legal orders from the government in India. Compliance rate of twitter in India is nearly 11% while in Japan and the United States of America, compliance rates are 38% and 13% respectively.
According to the report, legal orders from government regarding taking down certain accounts and tweets are necessary. It is necessary because for the past few years there has been an increase in hostile and criminal activity on the internet.
These activities pose a grave threat to national security and also to the citizens of the country. Therefore, the report states that such take-down requests are necessary in order to prevent chaos and confusion in the country.