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Twitter India’s Public Policy Director Quits Amid Microblogging Site’s Differences With Centre

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Source: Mahima Kaul's Twitter account

Mahima Kaul, who served over five years as Twitter’s public policy director of India and South Asia, resigned amidst the ongoing differences between the Indian government and the microblogging giant, stating she wanted to “focus on her personal life”, reported NDTV.

Although Kaul submitted her resignation in January, she will be continuing in the role till March to help with the transition, a statement from Twitter said.

Monique Meche, vice president, Twitter public policy, said in a statement: “At the start of this year, Mahima Kaul decided to step down from her role as Twitter Public Policy Director for India and South Asia to take a well-deserved break. It’s a loss for all of us at Twitter, but after more than five years in the role we respect her desire to focus on the most important people and relationships in her personal life. Mahima will continue in her role till the end of March and will support the transition.”

According to a Reuters report, the Central government had asked the microblogging giant to yet again suspend 1,178 accounts which they claimed were backed by Pakistan or operated by supporters of the ongoing farmers’ protest from what they term as ‘Khalistan’, two technology ministry sources said on Monday.

Last week, Twitter denied to abide by the Central government’s order of blocking over 250 accounts who actively posted updates on the ongoing farmers’ protest against the three Farm Bills passed during the 2020 monsoon session of Parliament.

The Central government issued notice to the social-networking giant warning it of penal consequences under Section 69A(3) of the Information Technology Act in case of “non-compliance” with the directions.

This came following Twitter’s restoration of the 257 accounts that it had withheld on February 1 as a “response to legal demands” allegedly by the Ministry of Home Affairs regarding the ongoing farmers’ protest posts. Twitter had then written to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) refusing to comply with the Central government’s order to block one hashtag and 257 URLs on the ongoing farmers’ protests.

The MeitY had reportedly directed Twitter to withhold the accounts, including The Caravan, Kisan Ekta Morcha, Tractor2Twitr, that actively post updates of the ongoing farmers’ protest and for allegedly tweeting or retweeting #ModiPlanningFarmerGenocide hashtag, making “fake, intimidatory and provocative tweets”.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had liked editor of The Washington Post Karen Attiah’s tweets praising pop star Rihanna on her stand supporting India’s ongoing farmers’ protest. Dorsey had also liked Attiah’s tweet suggesting Twitter should introduce an emoji resembling the farmers’ protest.

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