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World

Twitter suspends, restores Kashmir advocacy group 'StandWithKashmir' account after uproar on social media

  • The legal head of the social media platform is an Indian-origin woman who decides on blocking tweets and users
Published December 3, 2020

(Karachi) Women's decision-making position led microblogging platform, Twitter, to suspend the official twitter account of Kashmir advocacy group "StandWithKashmir" a collective of distinguished Kashmiri scholars, lawyers, and activists which has been actively involved in advocating for the rights of people in held valley.

The legal head of the social media platform is an Indian-origin woman who decides on blocking tweets and users. The account was later restored after social media users criticized and questioned Twitter's policy over silencing Kashmiri voices.

Twitter’s top lawyer 45-year-old Vijaya Gadde, who heads its legal and policy issues, frames and enforces the rules to impose restrictions on what millions of users post or talk about. If a Twitter user is found flouting the rules set by her team, either the tweet is removed, or the user is suspended. In extremely sensitive cases, her legal team may even decide to remove the offending user altogether.

On December 2, the account of "StandWithKashmir" that actively participated in creating awareness on human rights abuses in the held valley was suspended without prior information. The move resulted in uproar on social media platforms.

Most twitter handlers termed the act as 'scandalous' while some said that the move is biased and aims to conceal grave human rights violations in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir by Indian forces.

They said the action is equal to suppressing the voice of people of Kashmir.

Meanwhile, reacting on the matter, StandWithKashmir stated, "It looks like we are back. We are so thankful to you all for speaking out against our suspension. We were suspended without any prior notification or any information about what content of ours violated Twitter Policy ."

It added, "Twitter cannot continue to suppress accounts like ours that are speaking truth to power, and cannot be complicit in fascism. Our website is already banned in India and in Kashmir, and given the amount of surveillance and repression of social media users in #Kashmir."

It added that their platform is one of few that is able to raise awareness of what is happening there. "It is unacceptable that @Twitter would target us, while allowing fascists and war criminals to have a platform."

It stated, "We remain committed to our work, and no one can silence us from demanding the right of self-determination for our people and the liberation of our homeland from Indian colonial rule."

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