Micro-blogging social media platform Twitter has been accused of questionable behaviour with arbitrary rules of suspension, volatility in followers count and also with its dubious verification rules. Reinforcing these allegations, another flaw has surfaced where the identity of a Twitter handle is being constantly changed despite the identity being ‘verified’ by the social media platform by assigning a blue-tick to it.
Vinod Rajbhar, the Lok Sabha candidate belonging to Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, had a verified Twitter account during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Rajbhar, who had contested from Basti Lok Sabha constituency was using his Twitter account (@sbspbasti). But, after his loss in the elections, the name of the Twitter account has mysteriously changed to a new name Neetu Kala.
The following tweet from the verified Twitter account of National Spokesperson & Media & Social Media Head of Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party proves that the account @sbspbasti belonged to Vinod Rajbhar in April this year.
भारतीय जनता पार्टी बस्ती के श्री@HarishD_BJP सांसद जी, @SBSP4INDIA के राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष श्री @oprajbhar जी की फ़ोटो लगाकर चुनावी जनसभा कर रहे हैं, जबकि सांसद जी के सामने हमारी पार्टी के श्री विनोद राजभर जी @sbspbasti खुद प्रत्याशी है| pic.twitter.com/wAVZsfY3ro
— Piyush Mishra (@PMLUCKNOW) April 27, 2019
When a verified account changes its name or account name, the verification is withdrawn and the blue tick symbol indicating a verified account is removed. But, Twitter failed to remove the verified status of the account despite the identity of the account was altered.
The Twitter handle has now once again changed its name to Pooja Kushwaha. However, even after this second change, the handle had retained its verified status with a blue tick on its profile. Twitter user Ankur Singh noted the same and highlighted the issue.
Verified Twitter handle of Basti LS candidate from @SBSP4INDIA Vinod Rajbhar after election defeat is now Pooja Kushwah.
Few days ago the handle was Neetu Kala.
Twitter verification is a Joke pic.twitter.com/G0USUlHNHB
— Ankur Singh (@iAnkurSingh) June 20, 2019
Soon after realising their mistake, Twitter immediately revoked the verified status of the account and removed its ‘blue tick’ authentication. Nevertheless, the strange conduct by Twitter through its inconsistent rules and regulations has raised concerns in the country regarding its bias and incoherent way of functioning especially while exercising the power to suspend Twitter accounts.
Amidst the growing allegations of bias against users belonging to right-wing ideology, many users on microblogging site have consistently complained to Twitter that suddenly numbers of retweets and likes on Tweets posted them declined after higher numbers were shown for them.