Govt Blocks 177 Social Media Portals, Website Due To Farmers' Protest


Mohul Ghosh

Mohul Ghosh

Feb 21, 2024


The central government has ordered temporary blocking of around 177 social media accounts and links across platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter) and Snapchat that allegedly have connections with the ongoing farmers’ protests against agricultural reforms.

Govt Blocks 177 Social Media Portals, Website Due To Farmers' Protest

As per official sources, the suspension directives were issued by the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) on February 14th and 19th basis requests received from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), invoking section 69A of the Information Technology Act.

Links to Spread ‘Misinformation’

The move seems intended at curbing circulation of posts, images or videos on the months-long farmers’ agitation that the authorities feel may spread misinformation or inflame tensions. Several prior incidents of violence have occurred around protest sites.

The blocked accounts and links hosted on international as well Indian social platforms will remain suspended during the period of demonstrations, sources suggested. Though critics argue such suspensions impede free speech around important issues without firm evidence.

Questionable Grounds for Clampdown

Digital rights groups have frequently questioned the legitimacy of such blanket social media account restrictions imposed by the government during sensitive events like mass protests. Lack of transparency around decisions allowing indefinite bans sans investigation or accountability also attract opposition.

Moreover, agitation supporters feel such moves represent attempts to suppress critical farmer voices highlighting valid concerns over legislation changes rather than isolating potential public threats specifically. The long-running protests hence continue unabated so far.


Mohul Ghosh
Mohul Ghosh
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