Social media: government blocked 9,849 social media urls in 2020


The government has ordered to block 9,849 social media accounts or URLs in 2020, up 171% from last year, State Minister of Electronics and Computing Rajiv Chandrasekhar said on Wednesday, to Parliament in response to a question.

The accounts were blocked under Section 69A of the Information Technology (IT) Act 2000 and, while the number of blocked accounts / URLs was 471 in 2014, it increased to 2,799 in 2018, 3,635 in 2019 and 9,849 in 2020, the Department of Electronics and Informatics says.

“Accounts / URLs that are blocked by the government are based on requests, received from relevant designated officials of ministries / states, for specified reasons and following due process, specified in information technology (procedure and safeguards for the blocking for Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009, notified under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, ”Chandrasekhar said in the response. He added that the ministry follows due process in all these directions.

In response to another question on whether the government has asked internet companies including Google, Youtube, etc. to remove objectionable images of women,

Chandrasekhar said the government is well aware of the risk and danger posed by the growing phenomena of misuse of various media platforms and the harm to users as a result. The Information Technology (IT) Act 2000 provides for a criminal sanction for posting or transmitting obscene and sexually explicit content, he said.

“… in keeping with the mission of having an open, safe, reliable and responsible Internet, the government published the IT rules (Intermediate guidelines and code of ethics for digital media) 2021 under the law on computing. These rules contain appropriate provisions to deal with such harms / threats to users, ”he said.

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He further stated that central and state law enforcement agencies take appropriate legal action in accordance with the provisions of the law and, where appropriate, request intermediaries, including social media platforms like Google and Youtube, to remove content that violates any law.

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