As in the United States, however, Twitter wields an influence disproportionate to its size. This is vital for political discussions in India and Modi himself is an avid user and has over 69 million subscribers which shows his international reach. While ministers have tweeted belligerently about Twitter, none have yet openly expressed the threat of banning it.
Even when clashing with China, India can still learn from the experience of its neighbor, where the void left by foreign social platforms blocked to oppose strict censorship has created room for development. local alternatives. In fact, Modi’s colleagues have actively touted Koo, a local microblogging rival.
“I have to imagine that Modi is looking at China and thinks that it can have economic prosperity while exercising authoritarian control over speech and communications,” said Katie Harbath, former director of public policy at Facebook who has worked with them. The country’s officials between the fall of 2013, before Modi’s first election as prime minister, until early this year. “So the big question is, in which direction will India go? “
Much of the current resentment stems from government pressure to control the conversation around farmer protests that have been unfolding since November, centered on proposals to tax farm inputs and remove minimum price support. The administration forced Twitter to block some popular figures expressing support for the protesters – such as Punjabi singer JazzyB, whose account has 1.2 million subscribers but is not accessible in India – although the company has not followed up on all his requests.
American and European lawmakers should pay more attention to this South Asian country, Harbath said. Like Masnick, she sees few good options for private companies to oppose laws from above, and it would be up to the international community to bring India back on a more liberal path.