The political bias of social media platforms has been well known for quite some time. Twitter, especially, has been known to have implicit leftwing bias and engage in the suspension of rightwing accounts selectively. In the ongoing chaos surrounding the Jawaharlal Nehru University, the selective bias of Twitter again came to light.
Twitter suspended the account of a pro-rightwing handle with the username @TheAngryLord for apparently violating the rules of the platform by ‘posting private information’. In reality, the individual had only quote tweeted a tweet made by Barkha Dutt where the controversial journalist had shared a part of a conversation from a WhatsApp group which she claimed showed an individual trying to organize against the JNU.
Barkha Dutt shared the number on @Twitter . @TheAngryLord Quoted the tweet and exposed her. Insted of blocking Barkha Dutt account @TwitterIndia Suspended @TheAngryLord account. Wah twitter wah pic.twitter.com/7TjR8PPUAH
— Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga (@TajinderBagga) January 6, 2020
Dutt had said she had edited out rest of the WhatsApp group conversation owing to privacy concerns while sharing one message by one Anand.
This message is from a WhatsApp group called ‘Unity Against Left’ – I’ve edited out the group because of privacy laws on showing numbers, but the operative message retained : “main gate par kuch karna hai” against those who “support JNU” #JNUViolence pic.twitter.com/asXyRlfrsK
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) January 5, 2020
She had not blanked out the number in the WhatsApp chat. Anand was seen asking members of the group that some people in support of JNU are coming to the main gate, should we do something there? The chilling message was from a group called ‘Unity against Left’, thereby implying that the sender of the message was ‘against Left’ and hence by default ABVP.
It’s bizarre that Twitter had chosen to suspend the account of @TheAngryLord when it was, in fact, Barkha Dutt who had disclosed private information. Quite clearly, the suspended user had not disclosed any private information by quote tweeting a tweet made by someone else. It appears to be another case of bizarre application of Twitter rules and further evidence of the systemic bias against rightwing politics in social media platforms.