Meity Issues Emergency Blocking Orders Against 177 Social Media Accounts Amid Farmers’ Protests

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) has taken decisive action by issuing emergency blocking orders against 177 social media accounts and links associated with the ongoing farmers’ protests. This move, aimed at maintaining public order, comes in response to a request from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

The emergency orders, finalized by Meity on Monday, supplement the earlier blocking orders issued on February 14, following the MHA’s directive. Both sets of orders, issued on February 19 and 14 respectively, are temporary and conditional, intended to be effective for the duration of the agitation. Once the situation stabilizes, social media platforms have the option to restore visibility to the blocked accounts and channels in India.

Monday’s orders target a variety of platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Reddit. Notably, this marks the first instance of a blocking order being issued against Snapchat. YouTube channels or videos, however, were not affected by the latest tranche of orders.

This isn’t the first time such temporary blocking orders under Section 69A have been implemented during protests. In the context of the farmers’ protests of 2021, similar actions were taken by the government, leading to legal challenges from platforms like Twitter (now X).