The National Commission for Women (NCW), a body under the Indian government, on Wednesday ordered Twitter to delete pornographic accounts and called for a police investigation, as the social network faces several complaints and tension grows with the authorities of the Asian country.
“The National Commission for Women (NCW) has taken notice on its own initiative of several Twitter accounts sharing pornographic content. The chairperson, Rekha Sharma, has written to the CEO of Twitter India to have this pornographic and obscene content removed from the platform within a week,” the government body said in a statement.
The NCW has also ordered a police investigation and “appropriate judicial action” to be taken, after claiming that the social network has failed to act on earlier requests to remove pornographic content that “not only violates Indian law but Twitter’s policies.”
Complaints against Twitter for pornographic accounts
Authorities have registered at least four complaints against Twitter in recent days.
The Capital Police registered a case last night for the availability of child pornography on the platform.
In addition, Twitter’s publication of a map of the nation that excluded the territories of Kashmir and Ladakh, over which the nation has historic disputes, has led to two other complaints in the states of Uttar Pradesh (north) and Madhya Pradesh (central).
“Twitter’s publication of this erroneous map has hurt the sentiments of Indians and is an attempt to harm Indian sovereignty,” Madhya Pradesh Police said following a complaint filed by Durgesh Keswani, a resident of Bhopal.
Tension between Twitter and India
The commission’s warning and the complaints come amid growing tensions between India and Twitter over a new digital content legislation, which has also sparked complaints from companies such as Whatsapp for viewing the regulation as a threat to freedom of expression.
Known as the Intermediaries Guidelines, the legislation came into force on May 26 and makes it mandatory to remove any illegal content and help investigate its origin, while social networks must allow the identification of the first user who originated a piece of information.
The Indian government has accused Twitter of deliberately failing to comply with these regulations, which has put the social network at risk of being held liable for content posted by users.