Pakistan’s official government Twitter account has been withheld in India for the third time in response to a legal demand. Indian users attempting to access the account are greeted with a message stating, “Account Withheld @GovtofPakistan’s account has been withheld in India in response to a legal demand.” This follows similar incidents in July and October 2022, when the account was also restricted in India. Twitter has stated that such actions are taken in response to a valid legal demand, such as a court order.
In June of last year, Twitter in India banned the official accounts of Pakistan’s embassies in the United Nations, Turkey, Iran, and Egypt. Furthermore, in August, India blocked eight YouTube-based news channels, including one operating from Pakistan, and one Facebook account for posting “fake, anti-India content” online. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting stated that this action was taken by imposing emergency powers under Information Technology Rules, 2021. These blocked channels were found to be using misleading thumbnails, images of news anchors, and logos of certain TV news channels to deceive viewers into believing that the news was authentic.
These incidents reflect a growing trend of online censorship and restrictions on digital media in both India and Pakistan. As tensions between the two nations continue to simmer, it remains to be seen how these actions will impact the free flow of information online and the ability of citizens to access news and opinions from across the border.