Twitter has recently suspended the handle of one of India’s largest news agencies, ANI, for violating Twitter rules due to the account being less than 13 years old. The suspension caused confusion and frustration among ANI’s 7.6 million followers, and ANI’s editor, Smita Prakash, expressed her disappointment via Twitter.
Moreover, Twitter also locked the official handle of another Indian media outlet, NDTV, without any disclosed reason. NDTV has tweeted on another handle, stating that they are working with Twitter to restore their official account, and ANI has confirmed that its other verified Twitter handle, @ani_digital, is still active, and they will be tweeting news from it until the main ANI handle is restored.
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ANI’s Twitter Account Gets Suspended
On April 29, 2023, Twitter suspended ANI’s official Twitter account, citing a violation of Twitter rules due to the account being less than 13 years old. ANI’s editor, Smita Prakash, expressed her disappointment via Twitter, stating that Twitter has locked out India’s largest news agency.
ANI has around 7.6 million followers on its handle and was previously recognized as an official organization on the social media platform, carrying the coveted golden tick. ANI has confirmed that its other verified Twitter handle, @ani_digital, is still active, and they will be tweeting news from it until the main ANI handle is restored. It is unclear at this time how long the suspension will last, and what specific rule ANI has violated.
NDTV’s Twitter Account Gets Locked
Later in the day, Twitter also locked the official handle of another Indian media outlet, NDTV, without disclosing any reason for the account being locked. However, the NDTV team has tweeted on another handle, stating that they are working with Twitter to restore their official account.
At present, NDTV is yet to release an official statement regarding the account being locked, and the reason behind this issue is yet to be disclosed. If one attempts to visit NDTV’s official handle on Twitter, they are greeted with the message “This account doesn’t exist.
Try searching for another” on the home page. NDTV took to Twitter to address the CEO of the platform, Elon Musk, claiming that the account had been run by journalists since 2009.
Twitter’s Legal Policy and 53,000 Legal Requests from Governments
Twitter’s legal policy states that accounts will only be suspended for severe or ongoing and repeated violations of the platform’s policies. However, Twitter received 53,000 legal requests from governments during the first half of 2022 to remove certain content from the platform, with India among the countries submitting the most requests. Several international media accounts, including U.S.-based National Public Radio and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), had stopped posting to their Twitter accounts earlier this month after Twitter labelled them “Government-funded.” The labels were later dropped.
ANI and NDTV’s Twitter Handles Restored
On April 29, 2023, ANI and NDTV announced that their main Twitter accounts had been restored after both were suspended earlier in the day without any disclosed reason. ANI’s restored Twitter handle tweeted that their account seemed to be functioning and issue is resolved.