On Sunday, several social media users protested against the bias of microblogging site-Twitter, which has lately begun censoring social media users for criticising left-wing and ultra left-wing accounts, causing concern among users.
According to the reports, an organisation named Youth for Social Media Democracy (YSMD) conducted a silent protest from Delhi’s Saket to Lado Sarai where the regional office of Twitter is situated, accusing the micro-blogging site of deliberate bias against right-wing accounts ahead of Lok Sabha elections.
Delhi: Members of ‘Youth for Social Media Democracy’ protest outside the office of Twitter India. Protesters say “Twitter has acquired an anti-right wing attitude. They block our accounts & impressions of the tweets. We won’t tolerate this, they will have to change their policy.” pic.twitter.com/rsgTO99uWx
— ANI (@ANI) February 3, 2019
The press release published by the outfit reads, “Over the last few months, Twitter and Facebook have been systematically trying to curb free-speech of individuals who subscribe to the non-left-wing ideology by suspending their handles, restricting their reach and removing trends from the trends list. However, it has been ignoring offensive, abusing and threatening tweets from left-leaning ideologues and senior leaders of the Congress.”
— अंकुर सिंह (@iAnkurSingh) February 3, 2019
The curious case of Twitter censoring social media users for disagreeing to left-wing and ultra wing ideology at the time of crucial general elections has upset several social media users. With opposition parties and Lutyens media ecosystem backed by the Congress party indulging in false narratives and propaganda, right-wing users have expressed fear that more fake news may emerge in the social media platforms.
It is also accused that several prominent right-wing accounts are shadow-banned by Twitter. This means while the account is not blocked or suspended, the Tweets posted by that account do not appear on the timeline of the followers of that accounts. Tweets from such ‘shadow-banned’ accounts do not appear in search results also, effectively meaning that tweets of such persons remain invisible to users, unless they visit the Twitter account page of such persons.
Twitter is fast becoming a platform where ideological battles are fought, at times, by stifling the voice of those they disagree with and Twitter’s ‘hateful conduct’ policy reveals a definite left-wing bias. Facing accusations of discriminating against conservatives on the social media platform, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in an interview to CNN had admitted that most of the employees of Twitter have a left-leaning bias.
Recently Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had created a furore in India by posing with a placard that declared ‘Smash Brahminical Patriarchy’, an extremist Leftist trope of demonising an entire community. Later Twitter India’s legal head had apologised profusely to everyone for hurting their sentiments. A local court in Jodhpur, Rajasthan has also admitted a plea against Dorsey over the anti-Brahmin placard.