The social media giant Twitter inc. has been making headlines in India for refusing to comply with government orders issued on the 4th of February, 2021. The order asked Twitter to remove a total of 1,178 accounts active on its platform, which, according to the Indian Technology Ministry, are being backed by the nation’s rival, Pakistan or by sympathizers of a separatist Sikh movement. The Indian government insisted that such posts were inciting violence among the community as farmers protest against new agricultural laws. The trending Twitter hashtag #ModiPlanningFarmerGenocide was deemed provocative by the state, but the social media platform claimed there was insufficient evidence to suspend the accounts. After refusing the government-issued order, rumours have been circulating that Twitter will finally be bringing down the aforementioned accounts.
This news comes as the company found itself in the middle of a political storm in India, which is one of Twitter’s largest markets. Data shows that India has millions of active Twitter users out of its 1.3 billion population and the nation’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is known to use the platform as one of the government’s main tools for communication. The Ministry of Technology threatened to take legal action – saying the government was not required to provide evidence when asking accounts to be banned – before Twitter complied with their request. This isn’t the first time Twitter has clashed with Indian officials. Back in 2018, a picture of Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey holding a poster reading ‘Smash Brahminical patriarchy’ went viral. Dorsey was called to a parliamentary panel, led by Modi’s BJP party, but failed to show up. Last week, Dorsey once again made headlines on India’s state TV, after he liked a tweet suggesting thatTwitter should create a farmer protest emoji.
Twitter’s Q4 Financial Results
Apart from Twitter’s clash with the Indian government, other news is putting the social media company under the spotlight this week. On February 9, Twitter’s Q4 Earnings will reveal how well the company faired throughout the last months of 2020. The company has enjoyed a large boom in digital advertising revenue, laying down the groundwork for its second-ever $1 billion
A worldwide increase in digital spending is being credited as one of the main factors behind the better-than-expected quarterly earnings of tech companies such as Google, Facebook and now, Twitter. As the social media giant recently banned former US President Donal Trump from its platform, the possibility of having a steep drop in users and ad revenue is something that has yet to be seen in the upcoming Q1 2021.
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