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India’s government goes after Twitter and its ilk

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WITH HIS 68.7m Twitter followers Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, nestles comfortably between the American celebrities Selena Gomez and Kim Kardashian in rankings of popularity on the service. This is not by accident. Mr Modi and his Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) have been early and avid exploiters of social media. Whether to lure new members to join the 180m who already make it the world’s biggest political party, to hustle donations or amplify attacks on its critics, the BJP has relied on internet platforms to reshape India’s politics.

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But with Mr Modi’s popularity tumbling in recent months, his government is turning against these useful messengers. At the end of May it began enforcing new rules that, among other things, make internet-based conduits of information, such as Twitter and Facebook, legally liable…

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