India's war against Internet: Blocking parody accounts on Twitter

Six Twitter accounts, that mocked the prime minister's official account 'PMOIndia', have been closed down. The government says that the content on these Twitter accounts is communal but how exactly is satire communal is a point that is lost on many.


The Indian government has begun a crack-down of sorts on the Internet, blaming inflammatory online content. The government argues that theincendiary contentcaused a mass exodus of North-eastern people from Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, etc.

Facebook and Google who were contacted in this regard, have also confirmed that some inflammatory content was indeed put up on the sites and that large chunks of it was uploaded from Pakistan.

While to some extent one can understand the need to block accounts and links that were spreading false information, Twitter accounts that mocked the Prime Minister have also been blocked.

According to this report, six Twitter accounts, that mocked the prime minister's official account 'PMOIndia', have been closed down."These accounts contained certain content having communal overtones and it could be dangerous," a source said.Earlier, the PMO had asked the Twitter to shut down these accounts but after it was not done, the matter was referred to the Cyber Security Cell, the sources said.

Indias war against Internet: Blocking parody accounts on Twitter

Screengrab of the Fake PMO account.

The censorship however did not last long for, @PM0India,which substitutes the O for Office with a zero. Tweets from the account were back starting with this:

https://twitter.com/PM0India/status/237996465660772353

The government says that the content on these Twitter accounts is communal but how exactly is satire communal is a point that is lost on many. Fake Twitter handles that mock celebrities, world leaders, etc are very popular online. From Kim Jong-Un to Paul Ryan Gosling pretty much no one is spared by Twitter trolls.

But for the Indian government mocking the Prime Minister is no laughing matter.

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