NEW DELHI: The Pakistani government has reached an agreement with Twitter wherein Twitter will notify the Pakistani government before suspending official accounts in the country as per Pakistani media reports.
The news reports state that Pakistani officials and users had complained of a bias against Pakistani users vis a vis Indian users to the company following the revocation of article 370 in Kashmir on tweets and account suspension and that a meeting took place between Pakistan’s national IT Board CEO Shabahat Ali Shah and Twitter officials in the US on the matter.
The media reports stated journalists, activists, government officials among others had complained of their accounts being suspended after they tweeted in support of freedom of Kashmir.
In a response to ET’s queries, Twitter did not confirm or deny these developments but a spokesperson said the company is committed to the principles of openness, transparency, and impartiality and that no one is above its rules.
“We enforce our policies judiciously and impartially for all individuals — regardless of their political beliefs, professional position, or background.”
On October 9, Shah tweeted that after two months of effort, Twitter had agreed on a new cadence and that the company will not suspend government accounts without prior intimation and consultation with the Pakistani government. Later he tweeted that government verified accounts to be sent to Twitter will include government operated accounts and non-government accounts.
On Thursday, Shah tweeted that it is important to understand that all Twitter accounts globally must comply to the existing terms of service and policies of the company and that the same applies to government verified accounts of Pakistan or any other country.
Sources familiar with developments at the company said the original statement made by Shah was inaccurate.
“All account holders must abide by the Twitter rules, regardless of their position and do not get prior notice,” people familiar with the developments said.
Twitter had previously said it removed 200% more accounts for policy violation globally last year.
“With regards to official legal requests made to Twitter under Indian law, we publish actions taken twice a year in the Twitter Transparency Report for purposes of public awareness and disclosure,” the company had earlier told ER.
ET had reported in its edition dated September 5 that a series of fake posts had ramped up the home ministry’s focus on Twitter in India and the police had been asked to keep a close watch on handles spreading fake news.
Law enforcement agencies had said the number of bot accounts from Pakistan on Twitter had been going up.
According to social media analytics firm Konnect Insights, which tracks conversations on Twitter, since August 5, Kashmir as a keyword generated 6.7 million mentions on the platform with a reach of 110 million users.