27 July, 2021

Freedom Of Expression In The Time Of Twitter

Sanjay Hegde moved the Delhi High Court against Twitter’s arbitrary and opaque policies

Sanjay Hegde’s ­account was ­removed by Twitter
Freedom Of Expression In The Time Of Twitter

On January 7, the Delhi High Court issued notices to Twitter Communications and the Union ministry for information technology and electronics, seeking their response to senior advocate Sanjay Hegde’s plea for framing of guidelines for Twitter and to restore his account on the micro-blogging website. On October 26, Twitter temporarily suspended Hegde’s account as he had put up—nearly a year ago—a photograph showing shipyard worker August Landmesser as the lone man in a massive crowd in 1936 Germany who refused to offer the Nazi salute to Adolf Hitler. Twitter asked Hegde to remove the image, apparently for violating its rules that prohibit users from sharing “hateful or sensitive” material.

Hegde complied with Twitter’s diktat, but his account was restored only to be suspended again within 24 hours. The second offensive tweet was a 2017 one by activist Kavita Krishnan, who had shared a poem by Gorakh Pandey, ‘Usko phaansi de do’, which Hegde ‘quote tweeted’ with the English translation, ‘Hang...

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