The ethnic violence in India has given the government a chance to settle scores with Twitter. It not only wants Twitter to delete the hate messages which led to the violence but also block accounts which spoof the Prime Minister’s office. The Times of India reports:
The sites that got PMO’s goat are parody accounts with similar sounding names like @PM0India (O has been replaced with a zero), @Indian_pm and @PMOIndiaa. Blocking the six accounts is seen as a warning that the government will not allow misrepresentation of a high office like PMO.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s office uses the Twitter handle @PMOIndia.
The NDTV news channel reports:
The Prime Minister’s Office wrote to Twitter two months ago, asking that six accounts be blocked.
In other words, the government wanted the parody accounts blocked before the ethnic violence.
The Times of India adds:
A PMO official said the government was not overreacting. “We are fine with parody, even though at times it is in bad taste, and there is criticism of the government. But we cannot allow anyone to misrepresent the PM’s office and tweet nonsense from these accounts,” he said.
“The trigger for the latest move was when one of these accounts recently tweeted communally-sensitive statements aimed at inciting social strife,” said the official. Sources said ISPs have been roped in to block the accounts locally. Incidentally, several months ago, Twitter came out with a tool it claimed would allow it to block tweets or accounts on a country-basis.
A look at the sites shows they lack the finesse or biting humour of a popular takeoff on the PM like @dryumyumsingh, but do not seem to be currently posting vicious material – at least as of now. @dryumyumsingh may be left alone but others like @PM0India could be blocked.
Here Storified is what people are saying on Twitter.