Saturday, June 19, 2021

Twitter blocks JazzyB, three other accounts

Users checking JazzyB and L-Fresh the Lion’s account are proven a message saying “account has been withheld in India in response to a legal demand”.

Twitter has blocked accounts of Punjabi rapper JazzyB, Sydney-based hip-hop artist L-Fresh the Lion and two others following demands by the Indian government.

Jaswinder Singh Bains aka JazzyB is described by his web site as a “transatlantic superstar” and “the Crowned Prince of Bhangra, Born in Punjab and raised in Canada.” Hits by JazzyB embody ‘Ghugian da Jorra’, ‘Dil Aah Gey Ya Tere Te’, ‘Londono Patola’, ‘Husna di Sarkar’ and ‘Naag’.

He joined farmers protesting against the government’s controversial farm laws on the Singhu border in December final yr and has been continuously tweeting in favour of the protests.


Sukhdeep Singh Bhogal, who is named L-Fresh the Lion, is an Australian hip-hop artist from Sydney, Australia. He too had tweeted in favour of farm legislation protestors, highlighting alleged deaths throughout the protests. Both artists took to Instagram to substantiate that their Twitter accounts have been blocked in India.

According to an data on Lumen database, Twitter obtained a authorized request from the Indian authorities on June 6 for actioning 4 accounts, together with that of JazzyB.

Requests obtained by Twitter for withholding content material are printed on Lumen database — an unbiased analysis undertaking finding out stop and desist letters regarding on-line content material.

Users checking JazzyB and L-Fresh the Lion’s account are proven a message saying “account has been withheld in India in response to a legal demand”.

Twitter’s assertion

When contacted, a Twitter spokesperson mentioned when it receives a sound authorized request, it critiques it below each the Twitter Rules and native legislation.

“If the content violates Twitter Rules, the content will be removed from the service. If it is determined to be illegal in a particular jurisdiction, but not in violation of the Twitter Rules, we may withhold access to the content in India only,” the spokesperson added.

The spokesperson famous that in all instances, it notifies the account holder instantly so that they are conscious that the corporate has obtained a authorized order pertaining to the account.

“We notify the user(s) by sending a message to the e-mail address associated with the account(s), if available… Twitter is committed to the principles of openness, transparency, details of the requests to withhold content have been published on Lumen,” the spokesperson mentioned.

Jazzy B reacts

Jazzy B mentioned that he’ll proceed to precise his solidarity with folks combating for his or her rights.

The 46-year-old singer took to Instagram on Monday night and reposted a screenshot of his Twitter account, shared by a web page, which claimed that his profile was blocked for “raising his voice for the rights of farmers and calling for justice for 1984 victims.” The 1984 anti-Sikh riots, which had damaged out after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, had claimed 2,733 lives in Delhi alone.


“I will always stand for the rights of my people. #KisanMajdoorIktaZindabad #NeverForget 1984, #RaiseYourVoice,” Jazzy B wrote on Instagram.

Supporter of farmers’ protests

Reports counsel that JazzyB had continuously tweeted in help of farmers’ protests.

Earlier this yr, more than 500 accounts were suspended and entry to lots of of others in India blocked after the federal government ordered the microblogging platform to restrain the unfold of misinformation and inflammatory content material associated to farmers’ protests.

Over the previous many months, Twitter has been embroiled in quite a few points. Twitter had drawn flak after it marked a number of tweets by ruling BJP leaders on an alleged technique doc of the Opposition to focus on the federal government over COVID as containing ‘manipulated media’, triggering a pointy rebuke from the federal government.

The row over Twitter’s dealing with of sure messages had just lately blown up into all-out confrontation between the Centre and the social media platform.

Last week, the federal government issued a discover to Twitter giving it one final likelihood to “immediately” adjust to the brand new IT guidelines and warned that failure to stick to the norms will result in the platform shedding exemption from legal responsibility below the IT Act.

Twitter has an estimated 1.75 crore customers in India, as per information cited by the federal government just lately.

The new IT guidelines for social media corporations that got here into impact final month mandate giant platforms like Facebook and Twitter to undertake higher due diligence and make these digital platforms extra accountable and chargeable for the content material hosted by them.

The guidelines additionally require vital social media intermediaries — offering providers primarily within the nature of messaging — to allow identification of the “first originator” of the data that undermines the sovereignty of India, the safety of the state, or public order.

The new IT guidelines require vital social media intermediaries — these with other 50 lakh customers — to nominate a grievance officer, nodal officer and a chief compliance officer. These personnel are required to be resident in India.

Under the brand new guidelines, social media corporations should take down flagged content material inside 36 hours, and take away inside 24 hours content material that’s flagged for nudity, pornography and so on.

The Centre had mentioned the brand new guidelines are designed to forestall abuse and misuse of platforms, and supply customers a sturdy discussion board for grievance redressal.

Non-compliance with the foundations would lead to these platforms shedding their middleman standing that gives them immunity from liabilities over any third-party information hosted by them. In other phrases, they could possibly be answerable for prison motion in case of complaints.

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