Microblogging site X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday has said that the Indian government has issued executive orders mandating action on specific accounts and posts. Non-compliance may lead to potential penalties, including significant fines and imprisonment.

However, the Elon Musk-owned firm also mentioned that it disagrees with such actions and maintains that freedom of speech should extend to those posts.

These are related to specific accounts and posts, allegedly ssociated with the farmers’ ‘Delhi Chalo’ protest and the order was issued on February 19. It pertains to 35 Facebook links and accounts, 14 Instagram accounts, 42 X accounts and 49 links, one Reddit account, and one Snapchat account.

“In compliance with the orders, we will withhold these accounts and posts in India alone; however, we disagree with these actions and maintain that freedom of expression should extend to these posts,” the global government affairs arm of the company said in a post. 

It further said, “Consistent with our position, a writ appeal challenging the Indian government’s blocking orders remains pending. We have also provided the impacted users with notice of these actions in accordance with our policies.”

The development comes after the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) finalised its emergency order, directing social media companies such as X, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, and Snapchat to block 177 accounts and links related to the farmers’ protest in order to maintain public order.

According to sources, MeitY issued the emergency orders at the behest of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). These orders were in addition to the final orders issued on February 14. Both the orders, issued on February 14 and February 19 are conditional and remain in effect for the duration of the protest, the sources said adding that the social media companies can restore the accounts and channels once the protest is over.

“Due to legal restrictions, we are unable to publish the executive orders, but we believe that making them public is essential for transparency. This lack of disclosure can lead to a lack of accountability and arbitrary decision-making,” the microblogging site added.