On June 23, 2022, Twitter complied with an Indian government order to remove redfish’s account, and we are now geo-blocked on the platform in India.

We have received no justification for this move, with Twitter only citing India’s notorious Information Technology Act which came into force early last year and has since been used to step up the repression of dissenting voices.

Twitter has a history of colluding with the far-right Indian government’s crackdown on opposition voices. Last year they removed more than 500 accounts in the country and reduced the visibility of some hashtags, including several connected to the massive farmers protests against agricultural reforms that are devastating Indian workers.

A few months later, Stand with Kashmir published an extensive report detailing how since 2017, Twitter and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) has been suppressing the accounts of Kashmiri academics, journalists and activists in and outside the region. This despite Twitter claiming it would not remove the accounts of news media entities, journalists and activists, because to do so would: “would violate their fundamental right to free expression under Indian law.”

That statement was proved to be a lie by Twitter’s actions, with the company putting its profit margins before the fundamental human rights of its users. With a population of 1.4 billion, India is one of Twitter’s biggest markets.

For redfish, this action comes not long after we were forced to postpone the publication of our documentary which investigated India’s adoption of Israeli occupation tactics in Kashmir, due to credible threats to the safety of those who collaborated with us on this important work. Since then, India’s bulldozing of Muslim homes, a hallmark of Israeli oppression in Palestine, has intensified along with the Islamophobic environment being stoked by the BJP government. redfish will continue to cover these terrible developments while the mainstream continues to ignore them.
Meanwhile, Twitter’s compliance with the Indian government’s censorship orders exposes yet again the hypocrisy of the company’s grand statements about fighting misinformation and promoting freedom of expression, and the need for radical voices to turn to new mediums to make our voices heard.