Twitter is a wonderful micro blogging and communication platform that connects billions of people over the Internet. Its users can share updates and information in real time thereby exercise their right to speech and expression. Of course, speech and expression is subject to reasonable restrictions but a constructive criticism and opposite view cannot be considered to be controlled by reasonable restrictions by any civilized nation. This is more so for a country like India that is not only a democratic system but is also ruled by the Constitution of India.
Unfortunately, speech and expression in general and civil liberties in cyberspace in particular are under severe attack from none other than our own government. For instance, Twitter has been censoring Aadhaar related tweets for many years on behalf of Indian government. Now Twitter has started censoring critical and dissenting tweets about Digital India, a project portrayed to be a digital empowerment initiative of Indian government.
Praveen Dalal, whose tweets on Digital India are censored on a regular basis, believes that far from digital empowerment, Digital India has become the Biggest Panopticon of Human Race. Any tweet about this “Digital Panopticon of India” is also censored by Twitter almost in “Real Time”. It is not the purpose of Twitter to be a “Media Agent” of Indian Government and censor tweets that are criticising the Digital India project for its Weaknesses, Illegalities and Unconstitutionalities.
We can understand that Twitter has to keep in mind its commercial interests in India as well but this does not mean that it disregards the civil liberties and human rights altogether. It is high time for Twitter to think seriously in this direction.